For many kids and adults, tennis is a team sport. No team exemplifies that more than the Collegeville Crush.
Spend just a few minutes with Crush squad, and it’s easy to see the friendships and relationships the players have built over the years. The group not only plays Junior Team Tennis (JTT), but they are also members of the Perkiomen Valley High School tennis team.
Playing together through multiple seasons has brought their relationships – and their tennis – to new levels.
“Junior Team Tennis keeps us practicing over the summer when we’re out of season,” said Yashveer Singh, who captains and plays No. 2 singles for the Perkiomen Valley High School team.
Teammate Isabel Dove agreed with Singh.
The high school boys’ and girls’ seasons take place at different times, but both teams support one another even when the high school season doesn’t match up. With JTT, the teams get to come together and compete as one.
“We don’t get to play each other during the season so it’s cool to mix it up,” to-be senior Alex Dove said. “We’re all friends.”
The team was started by parent Marie DelVecchio, and she now helps coach with another player parent, Donna Dove. DelVecchio said the team’s grassroots beginnings and community approach helps the team grow and improve in a unique way.
“We’re not coached by a professional,” DelVecchio said. “We truly are a grass roots team, but that helps us get more match experience and we really grow as a team because of it.”
Because the team is coached by parents, the players are given many opportunities for leadership roles and sometimes even help in the coaching. Last year, Alex Dove helped plan the practice drills and the line-up positions. This year, Singh was given the same responsibilities as captain.
Coach Dove switches up the line-up every match so that each player gets the opportunity to get a taste of singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
“We also have two sets of siblings playing, and we like to give our parents at least one family doubles mixed match per season,” Coach Dove said.
Both the girls’ and boys’ high school teams were successful in the past year, having winning seasons. The boys finished third in the league.
The Collegeville Crush team didn’t advance to Section Championships, but none seemed too disappointed with the loss. The team was even planning an ice cream trip after the tournament was over.
“We’re not going to win it, but we’ll go home having fun,” Coach Dove said.
“See you at nationals,” Alex Dove joked.
His mom replied.
“Yeah, we’ll be in the stands.”