The Varsity Freshman

One lucky freshman makes the high school varsity tennis team


Very few freshmen manage to make varsity teams, yet Gabby Lee made varsity tennis her very first year of high school.

Lee, a Blue Valley freshman, has been playing tennis for years. Tournaments, practices, grueling workouts all eventually led to a spot on the BV varsity tennis team.

For Lee, tennis has consumed a lot of her personal time — usually it’s “tennis first, social life second,” she said.

“I have had tennis on my birthday, Halloween, Christmas and the Fourth of July,” Lee said. “Tournaments are intentionally planned on holidays because that is when they believe parents will most likely be will- ing to travel.”

Tennis doesn’t just take a toll on her schedule, but on Lee herself. Average practices are quite grueling, Lee said.

“My practices at my club KCUT are honestly, a lot more difficult than the varsity workouts. A normal club practice consists of drills, sprints, two hours of actual practice, one hour of conditioning and individual lessons throughout the week” Lee said.

Unlike most sports, tennis has no off season Lee said. Tennis can be played indoor and outdoor, which is why it can accommodate to any season occurring.

“Tennis is a sport that you need to be fully devoted to. It is an all-year sport, so I play
all the time. Whether it’s winter or summer I will be traveling to UFCA tournaments and tournaments with my team” Lee said.

Lee knew in order to make varsity it was going to take a lot of physical and mental preparation.

She said she has played tennis for so long — that itself was an immense help with preparing for tryouts.

“I never want to sound cocky, but in a way, I sort of knew that I would make varsity just because I had played for so long,” Lee said. “Hours of practicing, tournaments and conditioning was the main reason I made the team.”

Usually, varsity sports teams consist mainly of upperclassmen. This can some- times be a disadvantage for a freshman wanting to become a part of the team.

“The older girls didn’t really intimidate me because I had already met most of them through tennis at tournaments and other events,” Lee said. “I have made lots of friends

“My doubles partner and I, Mandy Novicoff, have a great bond,” Lee said. “We have won many tournaments together.”

since being on the team.”Joining a varsity team when you are a freshman can be quite difficult, Lee said. With the right amount of training and dedication, anyone can make a team that they set their mind to Lee said.

“It’s amazing how dedicated Gabby is to her sport,” freshman Sophie Bell said. “You can really tell she loves what she’s doing on the court.”

Tennis can sometimes be hard for Lee — she said it can become overwhelming.

“Tennis can sometimes be a little hard. I see my friends doing things that I can’t be- cause I am preoccupied with my sport,” Lee said. “I just need to remember why I love the sport and, to me, tennis represents my entire future. Getting a scholarship, going to college and being able to fully support myself — I know it’s what I am supposed to be doing.”