Coming into her third year as the first singles player for the Polytech High School girls tennis team, junior Rachel Young is looking to put her experience to the test and prove she is one of the top athletes in her sport in the state.

Age 16
Grade 11th
School Polytech High School
Hometown Dover
Position First singles
Height 5 feet 1 inch

For a budding girls tennis program like that of Polytech High School, it sometimes takes a few good players to help move things along more quickly.

With the Panthers racing out to a 2-0 start this season, that good player is third-year first singles player Rachel Young, a junior.

Young sat down with the Dover Post March 29 to talk about the goals she’s set for herself this season, as well as the growing pains involved in helping build a program up.

Q The team picked up two big wins to open the season this year, as opposed to last year when you guys lost your first four games. What’s different about this season?
A Things are going much better than they were last year. I just think our team is better than it was, and we’re actually doing really well at practice and putting more time in.

Q This is your third year starting at first singles for the Panthers. With the experience you’ve gained, do you feel like you’ll go further in the conferences and states this year?
A Well, I know a lot of people have gone to college since last year in the first singles category, so I don’t really know. I’m not sure what a lot of the competition is going to be like.

Q What are the goals you’ve set for yourself this year?
A I’d like to be undefeated. I’m trying to put myself in a spot to do well at conferences this year, and just finish better than I have the past few years.

Q The tennis program at Polytech is still growing, and you’ve been part of that growth for a few years now. What’s it been like, as an experienced tennis player, taking part in that?
A It’s difficult sometimes. [Head Coach Sean Kenney] has just been trying to find people that have experience in tennis and it’s very hard to do.

Q Since you’re one of the players on the team that does have experience, do you find yourself coaching up other players?
A I definitely do and just try to show them the right form and things like that. It’s hard but we just need to practice a lot and we’re OK.

Q Your teammate and second singles player Jessie Stump has been right there with you through your high school careers so far. How much do you help each other in preparing and getting this team better?
A Well, we’re best friends, so we practice outside of school. So in that we help each other, and that in turn helps the team.

WHO Polytech High School (2-0, 2-0) vs. Indian River High School (2-0, 1-0)
WHEN 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 31
WHERE 823 Walnut Shade Road, Woodside

MOVIE “Donnie Darko”
BAND Brand New
MUSIC Anything
DREAM JOB Psychologist

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