Starting the season on the right side of the court: PV girls tennis team eager to work with new coach

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Lakshmi Subramaniam

The 2018-2019 varsity girls tennis team celebrates after beating rivals Bettendorf 5-0, securing their placement at the state competition. Pictured is (back row, left to right) Brett Ahlgren, Eric Crawford, (front row, left to right) Julia Hillman, Bel Goedert, Sakshi Lawande, Eesha Lawande, Kayla Nutt, Lauren Hird, Aabha Joshi and Ramya Subramaniam.

Ramya Subramaniam, Student Life Editor

As spring sports come to a long awaited start, the PV girls tennis team will be experiencing some big changes, the biggest being a new introduction to the head coach position. 

Former head coach Eric Crawford retired last year after having coached the girls tennis team to many victories — including a state title — during his career.

Crawford played tennis in college, thus allowing him to give the girls feedback to improve their games. Junior Trinity O’Brien was able to experience tennis under Crawford for one year, and she saw many great qualities in his coaching. “He made tennis fun for everyone in and out of meets, making sure all 50+ members of the team got something out of the season and bringing together the varsity girls to become like a family,” she commented.

While Crawford is well-known in the tennis community, the new coach for the girls team is well-experienced in high school coaching as well. Coach Kevin Peterson is the former head coach of Assumption, Davenport Central and Alleman High School. Additionally he has been playing for 54 years, with 23 of those years spent on coaching. Alongside Peterson, Melissa Clemons, PVHS’ main office secretary, will be the assistant tennis coach.

Peterson hopes that this season will be filled with hard work and success. “My goal is to continue the winning tradition that has been developed within the PV girls’ tennis program. I will work on creating a positive atmosphere within the program to develop success in each team member,” he said.

Junior Kavya Kalathur looks forward to playing under the new coaches. “I haven’t gotten to know him yet, but Coach Peterson seems like he’s excited to work with us this season and I know he’s had a lot of experience coaching high school tennis, so I’m optimistic,” she said.

With no season last year, the girls tennis team will work hard to make up for the lost season. Since many of the girls continue to play year round at local tennis clubs, both Peterson and Clemons are looking forward to see the talent and potential of this year’s team.

Since the last season, which took place in 2019, only one starting varsity player remains, leaving five positions vacant for new players. This opens up many opportunities for younger players on the team. 

The girls tennis team hopes to carry the legacy of past players and continue to win dual meets and work as a team to win larger tournaments like MAC and regionals.