Malden High School’s girls tennis team has many talented player on both JV and varsity teams. One of the varsity players is Nikita Puri, a sophomore who constantly wins over the court.
Puri started playing tennis her freshman year for Somerville High as a varsity player, then transferred to Malden in the summer and now plays for MHS’s varsity tennis team. When she made varsity, she “felt very happy”, because she’s always played tennis; it’s been her hobby. Making varsity was very exciting for Puri because she would get to compete and contribute her skills to a team. “It feels good to represent your high school”.
Puri began playing tennis two years before reaching high school, when she would play just for fun with her brother.
Freshman year she started to play first doubles for varsity, but she also plays third singles and subs when the captains aren’t present at the game. She personally loves singles and would prefer to permanently play singles but there are a lot of seniors on the team, and they are traditionally the ones to play singles, considering it’s their last year on the Malden High team.
When asked what she liked about the team, she pointed out how friendly the team was, and since it’s her first year at Malden High, tennis makes her feel more welcome rather than shy and isolated as the “new girl”. She “like[s] that the girls here are nice and really welcoming.”
If she could change one thing, she would make the JV players more involved in the games because even though they’re part of the team and practice with everyone else, they often stay on the sidelines and only get to play after the varsity players are done.
Puri hopes that the team can become closer and build a deeper connection in and out of tennis. “Like hey- we’re girls, let’s be friends”. She also hopes her team can become mentally stronger during each match and not succumb to the pressure of their opponents.
If she could practice any other sport, she would want to play volleyball and crew because they seem really rigorous. Puri likes to challenge herself, be part of a team, and socialize.
Her personal goal is to be captain one day. After high school she would love to continue playing tennis to become a better player. She loves to represent the school now, and would want to represent the state in the future.