Abby Gamarnik: Ending With a Bang

One of our tennis athletes, Abby Gamarnik, is leaving us this year, making her tennis career at CB South one she will never forget. “I could on and on about Abby,” said Mr. Pecic, former girls tennis coach. “Abby is not only an incredible person, but an incredible athlete. She has not only been a leader and a role model but also a very coachable player.”

The CB South Tennis team has been the undefeated champions in the Suburban One League (SOL) Continental Conference all four years Abby has played at South. Abby was the Suburban One League Champion in singles, and she played in the conference doubles tournament. “It is a great feeling to win senior year, after a tough match junior year and a win sophomore year,” she said as she humbly smiled.  “Ending with a remarkable win was a great way to end my tennis career.”

Abby believes Mr. Pecic was a big part of her success as a tennis player. “He definitely influenced and affected me the most,” she recalled. “He not only taught me how to play, but he gave me better tactic advice. He really boosted my confidence and made me feel unstoppable as a player.” For example, Mr. Pecic would tell Abby to take a shot in a specific area or somewhere the opponent wasn’t expecting.

Unfortunately, Abby does not think she will continue her tennis career in the future, but she will definitely play for enjoyment. Abby has thought about playing in college, but she realizes her studies are more important. Tennis was just a source of relief and “escape from reality.” Abby said, “There are a lot of good tennis athletes, and I’ve had a good run. Hopefully I have inspired and motivated others to be a part of the CB South tennis team.”

Abby started playing tennis at the age of six, and her love for the game grew ever since. Abby’s father used to play tennis in Ukraine, and when Abby was old enough he signed her up for tennis lessons. “He was a huge inspiration and made me become focused on my goals,” said Abby. Abby’s parents are both Ukrainian, and they have supported her tennis endeavors since she was six.

Abby didn’t fail to mention that tennis was very time consuming. She spent countless hours practicing from grade one to grade ten, three to four times a week. Sometimes her practices were in Philadelphia, which meant she was gone all night. A lot of practices were on Friday nights, so she missed out on weekend school events. However, Abby “doesn’t regret the time commitment because [she] worked to master a sport rather than just sit at home or go out with friends.”

Abby strongly feels that tennis has made her a more focused and efficient student. Abby maintained her grades, “unlike some tennis players she has played with over the years.” Sometimes Abby wouldn’t get home until ten and would be up until one in the morning doing projects and homework. However, Abby said, “I didn’t waste time. I felt that school was more important for my future, so I did my best to balance school and tennis and get the best of both worlds, while still maintaining a strong GPA.”

The best advice that Abby has learned playing tennis is to stay motivated and never give up. “Once your opponent sees you are struggling,” she said, “they will take advantage of it and become stronger.” She feels that tennis has molded her into the person she is. “You experience a lot of emotions and crazy things when you play a bunch of teenage girls. You learn to stay poised and positive in heated situations and take care of them with your best effort to achieve your goals and win the match.”