The Warren Central girls tennis team has started their 2019 season strong, as they begin with a record of 5-3. The girls hope to continue with their success as they face strong opponents from across Indianapolis.
With the addition of a new varsity head coach, Andre Hines, the girls have been able to start their season in a way that the program has not seen in years. Hines, previously assistant varsity coach, has influenced Warren Central tennis across all platforms including athleticism, attitude and skill.
“Because of the bonds he has with each player we can go and talk to him,” senior Lonyse Miller said. “With him as a head coach, we’ve done better and it’s paying off.”
Starting the preseason workouts in early January, the Warriors have been able to address conflicts and goals, overall becoming closer as a team. The team has been able to get more hands-on during practices and more direct coaching to help give them a start they had not had in years.
“It’s showing a big difference in starting earlier for our season and not starting later,” senior Ashley Jarels said.
Some highlight wins from so far this season are wins against Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter, 5-0, and Lawrence Central, 4-1, breaking the three year losing streak against Lawrence Central and Greenfield Central, 3-2. One standout in these matches was first singles player sophomore Tia Hague who is currently 5-2 on the season. A few strong victories Hague has had were over Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter, Greenfield Central and Martinsville.
The team took on the Martinsville Artesians on April 23 and came away with the solid win of 3-2. Highlights from this match were victors Hague, senior Alexis Moment, Jarels and senior Morgan Oconitrillo, who all came away with strong wins to allow the Lady Warriors to finish the match with a 3-2 victory.
As the girls look to face stronger competitors such as the Roncalli Rebels and Mount Vernon Marauders, they hope to see their growth and accomplishments carry over into the remainder of their season. One thing the girls attribute to their success so far this season are their team dynamics, both attitude and effort, that have improved since the coaching change.
“We’re getting closer and we’re having more fun, but we’re still taking things seriously,” Jarels said.
Along with changing the way the girls start the season, Hines has been changing the way Warren Central tennis is seen. With resurfacing the courts, attending a clinic hosted by Olympian Rajeev Ram and involving the middle schools in more high school tennis events, Hines and the girl’s coaching staff have been working to make Warren Central tennis more prominent.
“A lot of stuff that’s going on now is because we have gotten grants, called people, contacted people,” Hines said. “Believing and supporting [Warren tennis] is my biggest message.”