AT’s girls badminton team was among many teams that have experienced the unprecedented changes due to COVID.
The team hasn’t let this stop them, as they have done everything they could to make the season as normal as they possibly could.
The team had to spend their first three weeks of the season in zoom practices, but they utilized that time to build up their motivation and improve their skills and game sense.
Although the team has been doing a great job working together, they also all experience their own individual achievements. The team recently attended the conference meet this past Friday, where they all achieved their own personal goals.
Senior Emily Stevenson placed third in her division and received All-Conference honors, and was among the group of girls that went on to sectionals.
In addition, Junior Alicia Lloveras placed fourth at the sectional match and qualified for the state tournament, which will be held on Wednesday, March 31st at Hinsdale South High School.
The team has clearly been doing well under the pressure of the changes in the school year and was able to overcome these challenges they had to face.
Coach Jeffrey Nellessen shared his thoughts on the season so far, and the changes that were made to it.
“Honestly our numbers were a little bit down, so not as many girls came out as we normally have, but with the girls that were there we had a good time working with them and having a season,” he said.
In addition, Senior Cristal Moreno discussed these restrictions and how they affected the team.
“This season we began by only practicing our singles due to the restrictions on distance from one another. However, we did begin to play doubles at our first event. We also had to begin our season with conditioning virtually since we had not been approved to go back into the building yet. Lastly, playing with masks was something we had never done before, so it was an odd adjustment we had to make,” she said.
This season required a lot of energy and teamwork, which the athletes made sure to supply.
“I enjoyed leading stretches because I feel that my enthusiasm might have helped some of my teammates a little bit by brightening up their day and getting them in the right mindset prior to playing,” Moreno said.
“I was very appreciative of our senior night. I did not believe that it would be the same as previous years and although it wasn’t, it was still wonderful and I am very grateful that I am a part of such a beautiful team. This was definitely a highlight of my senior year. I was able to grow both in and out of the court due to the determination I had thanks to my teammates and coaches.”
This group of athletes clearly have a very close-knit environment, and are able to get along well, which is very important when it comes to working together as a team.
Alicia Lloveras will be attending the state tournament next week, so be sure to congratulate her and wish her luck.