North Dallas sent four doubles teams to the District 12-5A tournament last week at Kiest Tennis Center.
The teams included boys’ doubles (Alejandro Murillo and Kevin Rodriguez), girls’ doubles (Esperanza Manqueros and Yadira Salome), girls’ doubles (Alma Macias and Nancy Le), and mixed doubles (Alexis Galindo and Rosalba Medina).
The boys and girls doubles teams advanced to the quarterfinals before bowing out of the tournament.
“The team is doing pretty well. I have seen some of my teammates improve,” said Alejandro, the team captain who was interviewed before the district tournament.
Jeremy Horstman, in his first year as the North Dallas tennis coach, said the team was “still moving forward.”
He said spring tennis got off to a slow start, with the first two matches, then followed by 2 1/2 weeks of rainouts, and then finishing up the season before the district tournament.
Kevin was the No. 1 player, Alejandro said, and he was the No. 2 player. Esperanza Manqueros and Yadira Salome had the top spots on the girls side, Alejandro said.
Alejandro talked about the secret to playing successful tennis.
“Well, I think the secret to playing tennis is always show up to practice,” he said, “and be confident in yourself so that you can work to your full potential.
“To be physically active, you have to run to the ball. You can’t just stand there. You have to run to it, hit it at the right time. Like don’t hit the ball too late … because you don’t end up hitting it.”
Just keeping the ball in play could lead to a win, Horstman said.
“For some, that’s all you need to do to win,” he said. “I always tell them, as long as you’re keeping the ball in play, you’ll get the point. If you’re keeping it in every single time, then they are going to be the one who mess up. Wait for them to hit it out or hit the net… you just keep it in play.”
In tennis, players have to have patience, especially when you have the temptation to slam the return.
Alejandro said he’s patient when he plays.
“I never try to rush it because I want to finish the rally,” Alejandro said. “I try to take my time.”
But there’s times he’s tempted to slam the return. How often does he think about that?
“A lot,” he said, “because you always want to win.”
Horstman said the players’ position on the court is a key factor when it comes to making a hard return.
“If you’re way back here, then that’s not going to work,” he said, motioning to the baseline. “But if you’re closer to the net, then the plan is going to work because the whole idea of hitting a slam is to hit it down. And if you’re back, then hitting down is going to hit on your side.”
Horstman was pleased with the team’s progress heading toward the district meet.
“Some are still teaching basics, and how to control the power and direction,” Horstman said, “and for others, they just need to get out and play. They have the basics down. They just need to get out and practice.”