Ayanna '21 is a day student from Cranbury, New Jersey. The Girls Varsity Tennis co-captain talks about her love of the game, and how her teammates helped her find her place at Peddie.
I love tennis. It’s a sport that keeps you on your feet, with fast action during each and every point. It’s also a sport that requires constant strategy and focus. Even though I played on and off for several years, it wasn’t until I came to Peddie that I became a confident tennis player.
My first preseason
I was excited to meet the other girls on the team at preseason my freshman year. As I walked around campus with another freshman, two older girls called our names and motioned to us to join the circle they had formed on center campus. We clicked immediately and started to form a bond as we shared stories and laughed for hours.
It wasn't until I came to Peddie that I became a confident tennis player.
Preseason went by in an instant. We persevered through long practices under the beating sun, all while competing with each other and playing countless games. Soon, the final varsity roster had been decided, and I was on it! Through wins and losses, one constant that first season was our commitment to each other, and the way we cheered each other on and never gave up.
A losing streak ends
The following season was great, with 10 wins and only 2 losses. And Peddie-Blair Day 2018 was even better.
It had been years since Girls Varsity Tennis won a point for Peddie-Blair Day, in competition for the Kelley-Potter Cup, and we were hopeful that we would break that streak. We woke up early in the morning, had a team breakfast and smeared blue and gold glitter on our faces. We were ready.
Our team was the first to compete. I was playing doubles with another sophomore; she and I had become close over the season, as we played many doubles matches together. Both of us were nervous, but we calmed each other down by supporting each other throughout the match, no matter if we won or lost the point. Soon, we were the only doubles match left on the court. It was up to us to secure the doubles point.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw our coaches and teammates watching each and every ball we played and cheering us on. The match ended, and we won — which meant our team broke its streak and won the girls’ tennis point for Peddie-Blair day! We did it together, we supported each other and we never gave up.
I am excited about what’s in store for our team. The girls on the tennis team were the first people I met during my time at Peddie, and throughout these three years, they have been my rock. Thanks to them, I have found my place, my friends and my mentors.