By: Jocelyn You
Love. In tennis terms, that means zero. Tustin’s winning, and whoever wants to try and compete better watch out.
Starting in the 2013-2014 school year, Tustin High received a new tennis coach: Fabian Grassini. Known as a tennis player elitist, Coach Fabian Grassini led Tustin’s tennis team into some much needed training. With five hour practices five days a week and a strong devotion to improvement, the girls tennis team saw a slow, but steady rise in their winnings during this fall season.
It’s now the 2015-2016 school year, and the tennis team is only getting better. Let’s be real- the tennis team at Tustin was seen as nerdy, uncool, and irrelevant for a long time by other students, but with the freshly brought hope and hard work, the team started getting more recognition. Led by seniors, Claudia Nguyen and Samrah Ali, the tennis team is rackets-up for any competitor.
Decked out in red, white, and black tennis attire, the team brings Tiller spirit to the court with each stroke and shuffle. Coach Fabian encourages the team to be quick, play smart, and do it all with heart. He stresses the importance of dedication in every part of life. Co-captains Claudia and Samrah can attest to that.
When reflecting on the two-year journey with Fabian and realizing that it’s coming to an end for the seniors, Samrah thinks back on the memories with a smile on her face. “There have been times when we were so frustrated with the training that he put us through, but we all appreciate it because look where we are now. We’re a family,” Samrah states when thinking of her tennis family.
Despite there being obvious hard times, Claudia adds onto Samrah’s statement by saying, “I agree. We’ve grown a bond that can’t be broken, and I’m never going to forget my years of tennis at Tustin. The team’s gotten so close, and it makes me sad to leave them. The rest of the season will be a good one, though. I know it.”
With the heart and effort put into this year’s girls tennis team, the league is getting some heat packed into it with Tustin coming in with red tops and spirit induced “game on” facial expressions.
“Don’t underestimate us,” Samrah laughed off with a hint of a passive aggressive tone.
That’s when you know Tustin tennis is going to serve it up to those who doubted them.