Anushka Dania practicing at Lewis Indoor Tennis Center on Friday Feb. 23, 2024. Dania is a senior on the Lehigh women's tennis team. (Adeline Horan/B&W Staff)

Lehigh women’s tennis looks to improve from last season


The Lehigh women’s tennis team is off to a strong run, going 5-1 in their last six games and 7-2 overall. The team has already made big improvements from last year, where they finished 6-11. 

Coach Olivia Leavitt noted how building on last year’s results has helped the team start strong out of the gate. 

“Last year was my first year as head coach, so it was a really good year of learning about the team, learning about the girls, learning about Lehigh, learning about me as a coach and a year where we could start and focus on building our culture,” Leavitt said. “I know my girls and they know me. We are very aligned this year with our goals.”

Coming in as a first-year, Audrey Harrington knew a little about the team’s collaborative mindset. 

“I kind of knew this coming in, the culture is really good. We’re really close with each other. We’re not just teammates, we’re all friends and we all trust each other,” Harrington said.

Off the court, Harrington said some of the team bonding activities include dinners at Leavitt’s house, going to the movies and studying together for classes. 

Leavitt said on the court specifically, the team has improved on their doubles play, which has become a strength for the team after struggling with it last year. 

Sophomore Bella Peters, who plays doubles with junior Hamsa Javagal, said the team has been focusing on doubles drills. 

“The doubles points are so big because doubles go out first and set the tone,” Peters said. “Everyone’s mixing well together, it’s all about the communication and how well you work with your partner. We’re gaining a lot of confidence from our success but we’re not fully satisfied and want to keep doing better and better every week.”

The adjustments have propelled the team into a better position than where they were last year at this time.

Last year the team was 3-5 in eight games. 

Peters is now injured, however, she says she played through an injury most of last season.

“Part of it is just mental, 30% physical, 70% mental it plays a big role in the game. If you have that in your mind and are hungry for grinding in practice and putting a lot more energy into doubles and having the mentality that you need to win this, it goes a long way,” Peters said. 

Senior Anushka Dania has been one of the key leaders this year and uses her previous experience to help lead the younger players. 

Dania is one of two seniors on the team, the other being her twin sister, Megha Dania. 

“Being on the team for four years, we have more experience than some of the younger players and try my best to be there for them on and off the court,” Dania said. “It’s about setting that mentality too and not putting so much pressure on (the underclassmen).”

Though the team has gotten off to an impressive start, they are still expecting to sustain this level of play. 

Leavitt said they are going to keep up the pace throughout the remainder of the season. 

“We are happy with how we have been playing and the byproduct of the outcome of those matches, but we are always talking about our process and that each match is an opportunity to try and work on our game and get better,” Leavitt said. “We have our sights set on some longer-term goals and there are always ups and downs during the season.”

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