Girls Varsity Tennis · South Goes Pixar for Lakeside


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As the team from Ashtabula (otherwise known as Lakeside) arrived in their team van, it occurred to me that this season could be an animated movie – specifically an animated Pixar movie starring several strong female leads.

On court one we have Merida. Lorena Jevnikar can move quickly all over the court retrieving her opponent’s shots and then shoot them back like arrows splitting arrows. The odd thing is that she has never changed her mother into a bear (but has fantasized about changing her into a squirrel). Our number one singles player seems destined to either be a Scottish monarch or a paleontologist.

Court two would feature Elsa. Ritika Chakraborty is a multi-faceted Rebel whether she is playing in the band, acing her opponent with frozen rope serves, or creating elaborate ice castles. Admittedly, she can get frustrated on the court and shoot icy stares at the crowd, but it is often followed by a string of forehands and backhands that could bring a snowman to life.

On Court three, we have Moana. Anabella Noel is our most adventurous player navigating her way into situations that look impossible. She has logged more nautical miles and bested more coconut warriors than any other player on the team, but whether she’s battling a Glam Crab or a Lava Monster, she always seems to get the heart of Te Fiti. You’re welcome….

Our first doubles team is of course Dory and Rapunzel. Andi Zaverl is perhaps the best doubles partner in the state of Ohio thanks to her inability to be intimidated by the fact that she has been invited to a shark support group and could be taken for a snack but instead wins over her potential enemies with her non-stop chatter. Her serve has been known to bounce off jellyfish, and her volleys have won over nervous parental types.

Meanwhile, Irene Rozenberg is busy exploring her potential as tennis star wrapping her magical hair around the tennis ball. While she is the quietest on the team, she can light off a thousand floating lanterns with her backhand winners. Strangely, the little lizard that follows her around went missing during The Great Goose Attack of 2019.

Shayna Patel is our Eve. She understands her directive but defends her side of the court with the tenacious vigor of an Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator. Her consistency might remind one of playing tennis against a WALL-E, but her gentle manner is enough to make any artificial intelligence fall for her.

Ellie Rowe is our future star and the only freshman playing varsity; she already shows the confidence of well…Ellie, the inspiration for Carl Frederickson and his floating house; Ellie has no problem overcoming tense situations during tie-breakers always making that shot that could only be produced in Paradise Falls.

Ally Correo is naturally Mama Emelda. This is mainly due to the fact that she plans to marry a talented musician who will write a bunch of songs but won’t get credit for them. It also helps that Ally has one of the best serves on the team which could be included on any ofrenda, and after every forehand winner, she softly mouths “Remember Me” to her opponent.

We end with Joy. Our most versatile doubles player who is charge of Sock Island, Friendship Island, Acadec Island, and of course Phoebe Island. Gigi Crockett-Tomasio likes to make every shot a yellow memory ball and keep any Sadness on the team in check. Without Gigi, we might lose our Train of Thought and the winning shots might all turn into Bing Bongs.

And now for the latest results:

Lorena Jevnikar (S) def.Kaitlin Toth (L) 6-1, 6-0
Ritika Chakraborty (S) def. Kassidy Baumgartner (L) 6-2, 6-1
Anabella Noel (S) def. Kylie Klug (L) 6-3, 6-2

Andreanna Zaverl and Irene Rozenberg (S) def. Ileanna Mullen and Delaney McWreath (L) 6-0, 6-1
Gigi Crockett-Tomasio and Shayna Patel (S) def. Lindsey Pallutch and Natalya Noce (L) 6-4, 6-2

South: 10-1 (5-1)