Causing a Racket: Doubles partners take on the new season


Courtesy Photo

After practice, sophomore Joe Schmidt and Matthew Morris pose for a doubles picture.

Elaina Gibson, Staff Writer

As sophomore Joe Schmidt practices doubles drills with tennis partner sophomore Matthew Morris, he tries not only to improve his skills on the court, but his skills as a teammate as well. 

Schmidt has been playing tennis for five years but started playing doubles during his two seasons on the varsity team. Both years he has played with Morris. 

Matt is very reliable and really easy to work with,” Schmidt said. “We can usually tell what the other person is going to do and can respond accordingly, so we can kind of read each other’s minds in the middle of the game, and put ourselves in a better situation for the next point.”

According to Morris, doubles partners don’t have to be friends, but it definitely makes the experience more enjoyable. He thinks it’s important for both players to have similar abilities and be good at each other’s weaknesses. 

“Joe is really good at the net where I am better in the back receiving base shots,” Morris said. “He is also just a cool person, and we’ve been playing together for a while.”

When they were picking partners, Schmidt said charisma and playing style contribute to who would be the best fit for a partner. 

“Being able to have good communication is integral,” Schmidt said. “If you like to play aggressively, then having a partner who plays defensive is a good pair.”

Even though Shmidt has more experience playing singles tennis, he said he enjoys playing doubles and taking on the extra responsibility. Morris said he used to want to play singles, but his experience has made him want to keep on the doubles track. 

“You have to cover a wider range of the field when playing doubles,” Shmidt said. “If you are playing singles, you always can stay at the line, but if you are playing doubles you have to know if you’re at the net or at the baseline. It requires a lot more collaboration.”

Schmidt and Morris both aspire to improve their serves and have worked together outside of school practice to boost their performance and make them more comfortable as a team.

“We worked together over the summer and both of us developed separately,” Schmidt said. “We are in the process of matching the other’s play style to be ready for regionals and state by the end of the year.”