The Class 3A South Sound Conference girls’ tennis league is a bit top-heavy this year.
Led by last year’s 4A state title winner in Timberline’s Angela Schuster and last year’s 4A third-place finisher in Gig Harbor’s Joyce Park, getting positive results can be an uphill climb.
For Peninsula’s No. 1 singles player, junior Sasha Mayer, it’s been a challenge she’s embraced.
“It’s been really challenging,” Mayer said. “On our team, we have a lot of good players but nobody that can hit like them. I don’t get to practice against people who hit really hard that often. When you have to play them all the sudden, it’s hard to get any games up on them.”
Adjusting to that level of competition can be tough.
“They’re just hitting with a lot of pace, which I need to work on,” Mayer said. “I know I can match it, I just need to practice it. I’ve been working a lot on my serve.”
But Schuster has persevered and her hard work has earned her a spot in the district tournament this season, where she’s hoping to win a couple matches.
“It depends on the draw,” she said. “I’m hoping to make it to state. I just have to win two matches in a row.”
The especially rainy spring season has made life difficult for the Peninsula team (and a lot of other teams in the area, as well).
“It’s been tough,” Mayer said. “We have 30 girls, we just do drilling when we can. It’s not very productive.”
Getting to the state tournament as a junior, after working her way through a grueling league slate, would be a dream come true for Mayer.
“It would be great,” she said. “I’ve been wanting to go to state since I started as a freshman.”
Overall, she said it’s been a good season for the Peninsula tennis team.
“I wasn’t expecting much,” Mayer said. “We had a lot of new players. Everyone has learned super fast. We have two freshmen who have done really well. I’ve been improving even though we’ve been playing inside most of the season, so that’s good.”
The West Central III/Southwest bi-district tournament runs Friday and Saturday (May 20) at Sprinker Tennis Center in Parkland.