Out Of The Shadows--The 2023 Lakewood Rangers Girls Tennis Team

High School Tennis exists mostly in the shadows—it is clearly not the most publicized sport. But the underlying elements are the same—students working hard at their craft, aspiring to succeed, and a willingness to risk “failure” or at least losing on center stage. It’s time to meet our Lakewood Rangers. 

This year's varsity Lakewood Ranger Girls team, under coach Becky Pope, features seven hard-working players who, according to our coach, “share a love for tennis, lots of laughter, and the desire to improve and to be the best tennis players they can be.”  From what I have seen—in both wins and losses—these competitive girls never back down, are enjoying themselves, and get better each time out.  

According to Coach Pope, “This season, the Lakewood Varsity tennis team is formed from experience, consisting of three returning varsity players and four former JV players who have advanced through the ranks.”  The squad has defeated Valley Forge and Elyria—in a match that came down to three third set tie-breakers and a key doubles win. The Rangers also recorded a solid third place finish in Lakewood Doubles Invitational.  

“We have a full schedule heading into September and look to be competitive within the GLC this season.” 

The Lakewood Seven are young, determined and fun to watch. Coach Pope had the following to say about her squad.

At Singles are sophomores Maya Trempe, Delaney Starr, and Abriana Heinz. 

“Maya is a returning varsity player, her second year on the team. Maya is playing singles this season and never gives up, tracking the ball down and making her opponents play one more shot.”

“Abriana is a returning varsity player (2nd season), bringing experience as she transitions to singles play. She is loving the singles game and the challenge that comes with it.”

“Delaney is a second-year player rising from JV last year. Delaney is enjoying playing varsity singles, loving tennis and the challenge, always thinking about how best to improve her game.”

Doubles Players include seniors Fiona Gjermeni and Hosanna Mosay and juniors Anna Moore and Lay Phalt Htoo. 

“Fiona is a returning varsity player (3rd season) and lends experience in varsity doubles. Her volleys are allowing her to start taking control of points and be a force at net. “

“Hosanna is a four-year member of the tennis team, officially joining varsity for the first time. She is steady, knows where to be on the doubles court and is ready for the challenge varsity brings.”

“Anna is a third-year player joining varsity for the first time, also moving up from JV. Anna is a steady player who uses others’ pace well, incorporating it into her doubles game.

Lay Phalt  is a first year on varsity player, moving up from JV this season (3rd year season overall). She is a consistent player and tracks many shots down, a valuable component of a doubles team.”

Having had most of these girls in class, and knowing of the others, I can see why Coach Pope has such positive feeling about her squad.

“All of the girls on varsity are positive and supportive of each other and their JV teammates, taking a leadership role on a large squad of twenty-seven girls. Lots of laughter and enjoyment follows these girls. They all share a passion for tennis, and win or lose, are always strategizing what they want to work on and their next goals for themselves. It is going to be a great season.”

While the typical stands at the matches include parents on lawn chairs, the occasional friend and/or teacher, it’s clear that for these racquet wielding Rangers, the love of the sport, the thrill of competition, and the camaraderie—carry the day. Long Live Lakewood.


Chuck Greanoff

LHS graduate, 1977. Teach AP US History, Native American Studies and Psychology at LHS

Volume 19, Issue 17, Posted 3:28 PM, 09.06.2023