November 4, 2016

GOA Girls Varsity Tennis

Lindsay Biebelberg ‘17

After being nearly undefeated for two years in a row, the Golda Och Academy girls Varsity Tennis team moved up to Division II of the Super Essex Conference, the second highest division in Essex county. Every member of the team was very excited about this because in previous years, the matches were generally not competitive, with GOA coming out on top in almost every match.
At the same time, the team was intimidated and uneasy, as the Road Runners lost three players – Corinna Ronen, Rebecca Marcus and Sarah Hessdorf – to graduation and their scheduled opponents had prestigious reputations. Undaunted, the Road Runners saw it as an opportunity to prove to themselves and to opponents that they belonged in this division.
On September 22, the team participated in the Essex County Tournament, an intense tournament with teams from all over the county. GOA was scheduled to face Cedar Grove and Millburn, two of the better teams in the tournament.
The Road Runners defeated Cedar Grove 4-1 for their first Division II victory and the team could not have been be more excited. It made the players feel accomplished and provided a reason to keep their heads up during future struggles. Still, that was not the best part of the day.
My friend from another school and I walked over to the bathroom together in between matches. We were chatting about the matches we had already played, and all of a sudden she told me, “I wish we could play Golda Och. You guys are the nicest team here.”
Then, when we got to the bathroom, I overheard another girl from a different school talk about how friendly our team is. It was surprising yet heartwarming to receive all these compliments.
Though we did not win many games this season, we achieved something even greater: the values of “derekh eretz” and “menschikhite” – being a caring and compassionate person – which we learned at GOA and have become a big part of all of our identities. We earned ourselves a reputation of kindness and friendliness, which is preferable over one of athleticism any day.

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