Work ethic lands Oda a trip to state

Gavin Ewen, Sectional Editor

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Elk Grove’s girls tennis team has been run on two particular factors this season, according to head coach Lindsey Rapinchuk: work ethic and teamwork.

They’re staples of the program, but sophomore Peyton Oda used both to slide into the state competition this year and finish 16th.

“Peyton has some many great attributes and that’s what makes her such a great player,” Rapinchuk said.

Oda practices year-round and enters tournaments when she’s not competing at EG. A week after her run at state had concluded in late October, Oda was already in a non-school tournament competing.

Rapinchuk describes Oda as a fierce competitor that is always seeking improvement.

Not only is she looking to improve her own game, Oda is consistently helping her teammates get better as well. From showing them new techniques to just basic communication, Oda has shown herself to fulfill that teamwork factor that Rapinchuk mentioned.

“She is a great teammate to have and she totally leads by example,” Rapinchuk said.

Oda’s style is what makes her stand out. She plays calm with a balance of aggression, and takes risks which is a big part of her success at EG.

With the sectional at Glenbrook North High School, Oda knew the only thing she had to do was stick to that style.

After advancing to state, Oda could sort of feel at home as it was hosted by Elk Grove and Wheeling high schools. Although Oda’s, run in state didn’t quite end how she wanted it to, her finish as 16th is something that made her coaches proud.

“Peyton’s confidence level remained consistent throughout the season, but she remained humble,” Rapinchuk said.

With Oda and the entire EGHS girls tennis program readying itself for offseason work, Rapinchuk said the team has the ability to come back stronger next fall.

“Offseason work is such a big part of tennis, along with the summer camp and individual practice,” she said. “Our program is confident that we can have another successful season next year.”