Cassie Sullivan Serving for the CB South Titans’ Tennis Team

Usually people think of tennis as nothing more than smacking a ball over the net and trying to keep it going as long as possible. But this isn’t the case, according to JV player and sophomore Cassie Sullivan, who has the inside view as to what it really takes to be on the Titans girls’ tennis team.

When it comes to what makes a good tennis player, Sullivan stressed the importance of communication between player and coach. Like every other sport, one must email or somehow notify the coach ahead of time when a practice is going to be missed (for a legitimate reason, of course!)

Tennis for South, though, does not require as much commitment from the players as other South sports. If Sullivan misses a practice, she would not get kicked off the team but rather may be moved down a spot for the next game.

Practices usually run from 2:45 pm to 4:30 pm every day after school. Sullivan also said that for away games, players are required to leave fourth block early, which is sometimes difficult because they have to do make up work and catch up on missed lessons.

Despite any complications, Sullivan said, “I love that I could get a chance to play such a fun sport, learn the game, make new friends, and gain skills that I couldn’t on my own. It’s just like learning a new language—immersion is really helpful.”

Sullivan added that the warm-ups for the JV team are pretty intense. Sometimes they do laps, lunges, suicides, and resistance bands, but they usually warm-up by hitting with a partner, which helps with accuracy, power, control, and technique.

“One of my favorite drills is when there are two lines: one line on one side of the court, and one line on the other side,” she said. “Each side only has one racket, and once the first person in line hits the ball, she has to run to hand the racket to the next person and run to the back of the line in time for the next ball. It’s hard, but fun.”

New JV coach Denise Houriet replaced Mr. Pecic as the coach for JV. With this new coach, Sullivan explains, they do more powerful workouts because Coach Houriet also owns a Pilates studio. “She has tennis Pilates nights sometimes,” Sullivan said. “I really enjoy them.”

The JV team is 4-3-1 this season. Sullivan said one of JV’s strengths is communicating with each other and never excluding anyone from a practice match.

As for Sullivan herself, “I feel like I can run to the ball and get it over the net wherever it’s hit,” she said humbly.

Sullivan is proud of the fact that she made the team and is exposed to the opportunities it gives, and she is excited to learn new skills and the feel of the game. “Coming into open courts, I had no idea how to play, except that the ball should go over the net.”

Outside of school, Sullivan is deeply involved with Chamber Strings where she rehearses as a first violin every Wednesday night from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. However, the group also has to do a lot of practicing on their own, since they only meet once week. Sullivan said there is a lot of joking around amongst the group, which shows how close they are to each other.

Sullivan also plays winter basketball for Lenape Valley, practicing every Saturday with the occasional Thursday or Sunday practice before being “thrown into games.”

Additionally, she is involved in spring beach volleyball for DAA (Doylestown Athletic Association), which she enjoys. When it comes to interacting with her teammates, Sullivan said, “I am quite awkward,” and that she did not really talk to her teammates until towards the end of the season.

Sullivan said it is stressful most of the time to juggle homework and other activities with tennis. “I need to prioritize… I also have to accept the fact that I won’t have any free time,” she said. “The only thing that keeps me from doing sloppy work is the crazy proximity to college.”