Girls’ tennis preview: A promising season

Eric Lu, Author

The Palo Alto High School girls’ tennis team (1-0) is expecting to improve on last year’s second round loss in CCS, and with six returning seniors they look poised to do just that. They kicked off the season with a 6-1 win over Aragon High School yesterday.

Returning coach Andy Harader looks forward to this year’s season.

“It’s going to be better than last year’s team.” Harader said. “Many of these girls have been on varsity for four years and now they’re seniors. They’re at the top of their game and they’re as strong as they’re going to be in high school.”

The team sports a strong singles line-up led by returning senior Aashli Budhiraja.

“Aashli is our No. 1,” Harader said. “She was the best player in the league last year, and she made it all the way to the semifinals in sectionals, so I expect her to do very well this year again.”

Harader also looks to freshmen Avvanika Narayan to be a big contributor this season.

“We got a young freshmen, Avanika Narayan, who I think is going to be a very good player for us, highly ranked” Harader said.

Narayan expects the team to do well in the playoffs.

“I think we’re going to do pretty well,” Narayan said. “We have a strong team this year. We have a good singles and doubles lineup. We’ll probably go far in CCS.”

The team is already starting to connect with each other, according to junior Madeline Lee.

“Our team is very unified and compatible, so we have a really strong bond,” Lee said. “Hopefully we can keep growing and improving even more as the season comes along.”

The team’s next match will be against Mountain View at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Paly tennis courts.