Contributed by Steve Lantos
Whether standing before a three and a half foot net or a five and an 18 foot wall, the player will have to tap similar skills to succeed in tennis and squash.
The squash team at the high school had a successful season last year. With nationals at the end of the season, the team must put everything they have into their three months in order to take home the gold. However, winning on the courts is sometimes easier for tennis players due to their familiarity with the racket.
Junior Bella Viola has only played on the squash team for one year, but due to her past tennis skills she was able to make varsity her first year.
“Tennis is similar in many ways, but it is also a different skill,” Viola said. Since I have played tennis for so many years, I have good hand-eye coordination which is a key skill for squash.”
Although the sports are similar, according to Viola it was not an easy transition. It took her time to get used to the lighter racket and the different ball.
Senior Aaron Fleishman has played on the squash team for three years and also feels that having a background in tennis helped him on the court.
“There are definitely a few advantages to having prior tennis experience,” Fleishman said. “It is just easier to hold the racket and to develop the spin. Having court awareness is another big advantage, as well.”
According to head coach Steve Lantos, there are a few key differences between tennis and squash.
“Squash is definitely different than racquetball or tennis,” Lantos said. “It’s played on a closed four wall court, indoors. The ball is not very bouncy compared to a tennis ball. For that reason, the sport requires a lot more running to get to the ball. Also, squash is an extremely aerobic and physical sport.”
Lantos said that since tennis players already have strong hand-eye coordination skills, it takes less time for them to learn how to correctly use their wrists to get the correct swing.
The team wants to qualify for Nationals again however, they are mainly hoping to have a great season.
“I hope the team keeps the winning record,” Fleishman said. “I hope we keep playing at our best, and we win a bunch of our matches. I just want us to have fun but also give it all out on the courts.”