Tennis team poised for final challenges

The Scripps Ranch High School women’s tennis team was ranked second going into the final tournament of the season. (photo by Igor Privorotskiy)

Tennis team poised for final challenges

Tennis is a sport of emotional intelligence and physical strength, and the lessons learned by the Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) women’s tennis team will carry them further than just knowing how to hit a perfect backhand.

Raj Ganti has coached both the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Scripps Ranch High School for the past 5 ½ years. Tennis is one of Ganti’s great passions. He volunteered to coach the teams when his son, now graduated, started Scripps Ranch High School as a freshman. As a former UCLA tennis player, Ganti’s experience and coaching prowess helped to break player’s bad habits.

“The program never had a good coach where there was ever consistent practice. The teams were left without the ability to improve their game. If you don’t have a coach, you learn to do the wrong thing. At some point you have to begin to undo a lot of the learned techniques,” Ganti said.

Under Ganti’s wing, the women’s tennis team at SRHS has done well this season. It was ranked number two going into the final tournament in Division 1. Ganti had a plan for defeating their biggest rivals, Cathedral Catholic.

“We changed our line up a little bit by mixing up the singles and doubles, and we’re going to stack up on doubles. I know we can win a couple singles matches and the doubles will be where we can win consistently,” Ganti said.

The players to watch this season were senior Polina Privorotskiy, junior Richa Singh and sophomore Sanjana Ganti.

Coach Ganti said they are extremely consistent and work hard to hone their skills.

He has seen significant improvement in a number of the players and in the team as a whole since the beginning of the season.

“The team’s greatest strength is perhaps the lifelong friendships, bonding, camaraderie and a love for the game and a passion that perhaps will continue for the rest of their lives,” Ganti said.

The women’s tennis season will come to a close in October. Heading into next season, Ganti is hopeful the talent pool increases as he has seen a notable drop in the number of girls trying out for the team. He is also hoping to work on the team’s winning mentality in which winning as a team is the focus over an individual win.

For parents interested in getting their children involved in tennis, Ganti does not think they will regret the decision.

“Tennis is a wonderful sport that builds a lot of character. It is both physically and mentally demanding. Even when they are losing, their moral compass and mental strength can bring them through it. There are many clubs in Scripps Ranch and many good coaches. I encourage all parents to give tennis a shot,” he said.

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