The Peninsula High School boys tennis team wants to take the next step as a program, and it’s added a strength and conditioning regimen to accomplish that goal.
The program is tailored to the muscles that are used while playing the sport. Light weights and medicine balls are used to strengthen rotator cuffs and shoulder areas, and the team also works on its fitness during practice.
Cherie Ausboe, in her 13th year as head coach, said she hopes the conditioning will help the team build on the strong year it had last year, when it came one match away from winning the South Puget Sound League 3A championship.
“The leadership on the team is great,” Ausboe said. “I think our captains are doing a great job. The team is very focused and is working really, really hard because they know we can be league champs.”
Ausboe’s optimism doesn’t seem to be misguided. The Seahawks return their No. 1 doubles team from a year ago, junior captains Hayden Skidmore and Christian Lewis. The duo went undefeated in league play last year and made it to state, where they won their first match before they were eliminated.
Skidmore and Lewis want to advance deeper into the state bracket this year, something they hope to accomplish by delving into singles play at times.
“This year, Christian and I are going to be splitting up a little into singles also,” Skidmore said. “I think it’d be a great accomplishment if I could get better playing singles, maybe just some more singles strategies.”
Lewis said he thinks singles play will help their skill sets and make them an even more formidable opponent in doubles play.
“It gives a different part of the game to focus on,” Lewis said. “It’s a lot more movement, and you really have to set up the play. It all just comes together as one.”
The team lost its No. 2 doubles team from last year, seniors James Silberman and Matt Myers, but that doesn’t change the team’s goal.
“Our goal is to win league,” Ausboe said.