Girls Tennis: Experience pushing Gonzalez to play faster

Senior Melanie Gonzalez has both the experience and the improved skills to be a major factor for the Lady Hubs in doubles play this season. (Photo by Marcy DeLille)

Lady Hub senior already stepping up for tennis team

Melanie Gonzalez has honed her basic skills throughout her three-plus years with the Rochelle Township High School tennis team. Gonzalez has been able to play faster as she’s improved, and with her fourth season underway, the Lady Hub senior is looking to continue sharpening her serves and better her ball placement so she can keep up the pace on the court.

The 2020 season will be Gonzalez’s third straight as a member of the varsity team. Gonzalez has found her role in doubles, where she’s already recorded one victory this season, working with teammate Josie Lundquist for a win over Rockford Lutheran earlier this week. Her efforts also resulted in doubles points during the team’s two victories in the 2019 season. As a sophomore, Gonzalez helped Rochelle sweep doubles play to earn a 3-2 win over Morris.

“My serves are getting a lot faster and they’re a lot better than when I first started playing,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve also learned how to place my hits better. I want to keep getting better with my serves so I can play even faster, and I want to make sure I’m placing the ball better and setting myself to hit the ball as opposed to running and hitting the ball.”

Gonzalez is one of many upperclassmen returning to the Lady Hub tennis team this fall. Rochelle has played a pair of competitive matches already, scoring two points in each, but the Lady Hubs are still eyeing the first win of the season. After two wins in 2019, one win in 2018 and zero wins in 2017, Gonzalez is aiming to keep the trend moving in the positive direction.

“We’ve definitely improved a lot,” Gonzalez said. “I think we’ve playing to the best of our ability this season and I’ve seen a lot of improvements in both our serves and our hitting. I think we can go really far this season. I really hope we can have more wins this year, and I really think we can do that because of all the players we have back out on the court this year.”

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