Team Spotlight: Henderson High School Smash

There’s a trend beginning to show in Junior Team Tennis leagues across Middle States.

jtt squadThe closer the team, the more wins it generally sees.

The Henderson High School Smash certainly makes that case.

Playing in the 18 and Under Advanced Junior Team Tennis (JTT) league in Middle States, the Smash are as close as they come. The players not only play JTT together, but also all play on the same high school tennis team for West Chester Henderson. The team hangs out outside of tennis, going to movies and often getting dinner together. And from the first serve of the match to hanging out in between matches, it’s clear why the team is advancing to next week’s Middle States Section Championships at Mercer County Park.

“I think it helps them out a lot,” coach Deborah Crawford said about the team’s closeness. “They’re all good friends and enjoy hanging out with each other. They have great team camaraderie and pump each other up.”

There are other benefits to JTT for this squad, as well.

“They get to see different levels of play which is a good eye opener and tests them both mentally and physically.”

Amanda Baxter and Julianne Rodgers are two players on the Henderson team and have been playing tennis together for several years.

“I love getting the opportunity to play different people competitively, and have a good time with it,” Baxter said.

Rodgers talked about what it’s like to play with her friends on the team.

“We are already extremely close, but it brings us together and it’s nice to know the teammates you’re playing with.”

The team will compete next week for a chance to play at USTA JTT National Championships. It’s the second year in a row the team has advanced to Section Championships.

For more information on USTA Junior Team Tennis, click here. For photos from JTT Section Championships next week, visit Middle States on Facebook.

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