YCHS tennis captain plays for the love of the game

genegraham@comporium.netOctober 15, 2013 

— York Comprehensive High School girls’ tennis captain Heba Abdin, the only senior on the team, embraces the sport and teammates she loves.

Abdin, the team’s No. 1 singles player, said winning is a priority, but bonding with her teammates is an even bigger thrill.

“Tennis is different from other sports,” said Abdin. “We want to win, but tennis is not a rah-rah sport. We have a special bond and are supportive of each other, win or lose. It’s not all about winning.”

Abdin said the players are supportive of each other in all aspects of school life at YCHS. “We have fun and share concerns,” she noted. “We leave the aggression on the court. It’s like a sister bond.”

Abdin admits there was a time when she had no interest in the sport.

“I didn’t want to play tennis at first,” she recalls. “I friend dragged me to the court one day. It seemed the more I played the more I developed an interest in the sport. I wasn’t even sure if I would be accepted, but the players on the varsity team welcomed me my freshman year.”

Abdin devotes much time to gaining the competitive edge it takes to play No. 1 singles. “I am serving better and have improved my backhand,” she said. “I hit with power but have to control my shots.”

Abdin admits it’s sad knowing her senior year brings an end to her tennis participation. “I try not to think about it,” she said. “I will be back next year to see how things are going.”

First-year head tennis coach Rusty Graham speaks in glowing terms of the Lady Cougar players. Heba, he said, “is a wonderful person and a great role model. We will miss her next year.”

The team had a 3-13 record entering this week. Graham lauded the players’ commitment, saying the season saw players extend strong teams to the limit in six other matches. “We’ve won several matches and have been competitive in several other matches,” he said.

Sophomore Heather Bomar, the Lady Cougars’ No. 2 singles player, echoes Abdin’s sentiments regarding the bonding. “My teammates are great,” she said. “We are like sisters, one big family.”

Asked which phase of the game she felt more comfortable playing, Bomar said it depends on the flow of the game. “It might be serving, volleying or using my backhand,” she said. “I really enjoy playing tennis and feel I have improved my game.”

The soft-spoken Bomar, an intense competitor once the match begins, said her motto is to never give up. “The game’s not over until the last point,” she said. “You just never know what will happen on the court.

Graham he expects all of the players except Abdin to return next year. “Ten of our 11 players return and we hope to have a handful more,” he added. “I look forward to coaching the boys’ team in the spring and the girls again next fall.”

The Lady Cougars were scheduled to close out the season in a Wednesday match at Nation Ford.

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