Behind the Blue and Gold: Girls Tennis


Mallory Malloy left and Megan Knag right

Ava Neugebauer, Journalist

Megan Kang and Mallory Malloy are the captains of the Hampton girls tennis team. Megan has been playing on varsity for three years, and Mallory with two years. I interviewed them to find out about what the experience of being a tennis player is all about.


Team dynamic is another big question when it comes to high school athletics. Is there a hierarchy of “popular players”, are newer players expected to catch on to things quickly?


Malloy: “Yeah I think, honestly being really close especially in a sport where we’re playing together. Like doubles, even the singles, everyone warms up together. Everyone plays together a lot so I feel we are pretty close.” 

Kang: “We also do a lot of team bonding, and we have our pasta party today after school. We always go out to eat after every away game. It’s really fun. Actually when I started tennis I wasn’t close with any of the girls, but once you start playing together you become closer.”


Along with school, the learnings of school there are learnings with life. The girls have both said that tennis has helped them with their work ethic, and being disciplined. As well as finding it so important to work with one another on and off the court. 


Malloy: “There is so much I have learned…even though tennis is an ‘individual sport’ like Mr. McKinney says all the time it really brings people together and is such a team sport. I feel like I’ve learned so much from working hard,  and for other people, and like being a part of something bigger than yourself.”


Kang: “I agree, I agree. I think it is one of the biggest activities where you have to work together to achieve a goal. So it helps learning how to be a part of the team.”


I also asked the two about their coach. They explained that Mr. McKinney is a math teacher here at Hampton High School. He currently coaches tennis, and has been for 14 years. The girls love that he is a supportive coach and keeps pushing them to do their best. They love how he is an ‘all in one’ coach. Rest days are a part of their routine, but also days with making sure they are at their best performance. He wants the entire team to do well, and they say he pushes them mentally and physically. He is also very reassuring and gets the girls hyped up in between games. He also balances that with not stressing the girls out. They loved how considerate he was with what the girls have going on outside of the sport. 


When I asked about their thoughts about the season, the girls both shared their hope to have a wonderful season and have a strong competitive season this year. They both hope to keep on to their winnings, but are focused on working more so for the team. They hope people know how much they put up a fight when it comes to more competitive teams. They never want to seem like they “got crushed”. Kang sees the girls winning a lot more games, and section games. 


Though students are expected to put athletics over sports, you are always a student first. Both of the girls explained that a majority of the time you are going to be missing 9th period, and managing school is not a challenging task. While for some students that isn’t bad, for others there is a lot of make-up work. The girls loved that the sport was in the fall, because not too much is happening. School work becomes harder to balance as the year goes on, but having summer still left helps them ease into the school year.