PEN Girls Tennis Wins CIF Championship
• Panthers accomplish lofty goals and have a fun season as well.
Peninsula High’s varsity girls’ tennis team made history last month by earning the title of CIF Southern Section Champions in the Open Division.
Because these players won the Bay League and were ranked second in CIF, they were able to qualify to play in the CIF finals. Furthermore, the team made it to the semifinals of the state championships, where they lost in a close match.
“We were seeded first in the state, but we were missing two of our best players,” senior and varsity captain Koko Makrygiannis said. “So, our goal was to make it to the semifinals, which we accomplished.”
According to Makrygiannis, the lineup for the girls’ tennis team is never set, which causes numerous changes to doubles partners and singles matches before tournaments. Nevertheless, this constant switching allowed all of the players to strengthen their foundation on the court and work on a variety of different plays.
“I think all of our cooperation and willingness to play wherever with whoever made it so we had the right lineup for any situation,” Makrygiannis said.
There were multiple factors that played into these feats, such as the versatility of the players. These girls’ drive to place in tournaments and their flexibility to work with what they have allowed them to overcome roadblocks, such as not having their best players on the court. This caused the collective whole to become stronger.
“In every match, we had different people secure the win for us,” senior and varsity captain Alicia Keys said. “We didn’t just rely on a few individuals; we really needed the whole team to come through.”
This sense of unity that resonated with the players caused the team dynamic to become very connected and close. This year, most of the team members were new, with only a few returning players, which made the beginning of the year difficult for some. Although this initial shyness existed, the bonds these girls created as the season progressed allowed the collective win they earned at CIF.
“As the season went on, we had karaoke rides and overnight trips, which made us all super close, and now we are like a family,” Makrygiannis said. “No one on the team dislikes another, and we have never had any drama, which I am very grateful for.”
Now, as the season draws to a close, the varsity girls’ tennis team reminisces about the memories they have shared on the court for the past couple of months. The underlying meaning of their wins was the connections they created with one another in the process.
“In the end, the whole point is to have fun and share the sport you love with the team,” Makrygiannis said. “When you grow up, you won’t remember the wins and losses; you’ll remember the bus ride jam outs and the food stops and all of the little moments you shared with the people around you.”