How covid-19 is affecting the high school girls tennis season

The girls JV tennis team picture from the 2020-2021 fall season. Photo Courtesy of Visual Sports

The girls JV tennis team picture from the 2020-2021 fall season. Photo Courtesy of Visual Sports

Joy Park, Contributing Writer

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the high school girls tennis team has experienced many changes in regulations this season. Transportation, sanitation of equipment, and the enforcement of masks were big factors for creating the safest environment possible amidst the virus. 

Initially, tryouts for the team were cancelled due to Ohio’s guidelines that continued to change for fall sports and student activities. Eventually, though, tryouts were back on when Ohio allowed non-contact sports, such as tennis and golf, to resume their seasons. 

Even during tryouts, players were required to wear masks when they weren’t playing, and everyday their temperatures were measured. If players were to have a high temperature or fail to wear a mask, they were not qualified to play on the school team.

Players are transported on school buses to other schools when matches are away, but this year’s circumstances have added new rules to the rides. Prior to COVID, players sat in seats together and conversed on long rides, but due to new guidelines, this can no longer be the case.

“Now, everybody has to wear a mask while they’re on the bus and must sit by themselves,” said girls JV tennis coach Linda Elwing. “And, you must use hand sanitizer as you get on the bus.”

Not only this, but the sanitation of equipment has also been modified. Before the pandemic, players would share new tennis balls with their opponents every match, but this is also a rule that has changed for this season’s requirements. 

“Both teams had to have separate balls with our [school’s] initials,” Solon’s JV tennis player Ariella Koslov said. This regulation was set in place in order to limit sharing equipment of the schools playing each other, and to use separate tennis balls when serving.

Although the season was different for the players as well as the coach, everyone did their part in preventing the spread while continuing their sport. 

“When everyone is working together, you ensure their safety and they ensure yours,” Koslov said.

  According to Coach Elwing, all the girls complied to regulations with no complaints, and were concerned with one another’s safety. 

“The safety of all our girls, that’s our priority,” Elwing said. “Great bunch of girls, and good season this year! I’m just glad that everybody is healthy.”