Pratt High School tennis team members have dealt with switches and changes this year, but continue to compete with determination.
The Pratt High Girls Tennis team has faced adversity so far this season, but they are still aiming high for their #1 Varsity players. At the beginning of the tennis season, #1 Doubles player Vanessa Leckner was hit in the head, which resulted in a concussion, changing the expected course of the season for a few weeks.
“Having this injury has put a toll on the entire team and not just varsity, but also junior varsity,” said Lecker.
Since Lecker was a doubles partner to Rachel Reichenberger, the whole team had to be readjusted to assure the most success for each player on not just varsity, but junior varsity as well.
“They have been really supportive and flexible,” Leckner said, “which I think is the hardest thing to do in tennis, especially with our double teams being split and moved around.”
Lecker said the team has bonded in a special way this year due to her injury.
“With my injury I really think that helped bond us all together in a weird way,” Leckner said. “They actually went through the process of getting me an old football helmet and having the entire team sign it, which is a big bonding experience in my book.”
Despite the recent setbacks, they hope to send at least the #1 Singles player Erin Jackson and the #1 Doubles team Leckner and Reichenberger to state.
“Rachel was moved from singles to doubles with me so we could hopefully have a chance to go to state together,” Leckner said.
Many of the players on the team are new, so Lecker says they just hope for improvement.
“With having only 3 returning varsity players. That meant we had to help and encourage the younger kids or the ones that played junior varsity last year,” Leckner said. “I know they all want to improve as much as possible for this coming year.”
The tennis season is short, so the team has to make every coming game count.
“With this season already coming to a close, we all hope to play our best at the next meets,” said Leckner.
Leckner’s first meet since her injury was Saturday, Sep. 21 at Smokey Valley, where she played with Bella Barker as a #2 doubles team, and they placed 5th at the meet. #1 Singles player Erin Jackson placed 4th, #2 Singles player Rachel Reichenberger placed 5th, and #2 doubles team Karsyn Sharp and Graciela Garcia placed 5th. Barker and Reichenberger will switch positions for the next meet at Kiowa County High School on Thursday, Sep. 26.