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After serving as a captain for the North Haven girls’ swimming and diving squad last fall, senior Avery Hill reprised that role with the tennis team this spring. Avery has been playing No. 2 doubles alongside junior Zoe Bowerman. (Photo courtesy of Avery Hill )
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Avery Hill is a four-year member of the girls’ tennis and swimming teams at North Haven High School, and she’s worked hard to earn a captain’s role for both squads in her current senior season. While the two sports offer a much different experience, Avery says that being a captain for the swim team primed her to lead the tennis team this spring.
“To have experience with swimming helped for the tennis season. I knew certain things, like planning the banquet, how to fundraise, and planning team events,” says Avery. “My co-captains and I did a great job organizing the team fundraiser. From swimming, I knew how to get the girls’ attention and how to get them to focus. I learned the key words they’d listen and pay attention to.”
Whether it’s in swimming or tennis, Avery doesn’t like to see her teammates sitting idle on the sidelines. Avery understands the importance of everyone cheering for one another, and she emphasized that notion to her teammates.
“For swimming, we tried to enforce no sitting on the bench. We wanted everybody to always cheer for our teammates as loud as we can,” Avery says. “For tennis, with multiple matches always going on, we made sure everyone spread out, so everyone could be cheered on. Even during my match, on changeovers, I’d focus my attention on the other girls’ matches.”
Girls’ tennis Head Coach Bob Migliorini says that Avery brings a great attitude to the court for North Haven. He adds that his senior captain has a positive influence on everyone on the squad.
“She’s an excellent leader with great communication skills and attention to detail. She’s just a natural leader,” Migliorini says. “She’s a key contributor to our doubles lineup and has been for a few years now. She’s well-liked and a good role model for the underclassmen.”
Avery has seen some time in the singles lineup, but she ultimately found her home playing doubles. This year, Avery and junior Zoe Bowerman teamed up to play No. 2 doubles for North Haven.
“Doubles to me is a more exciting game. I really like having the support of a partner. I get mental sometimes, and she is so calm and patient. It’s good to have someone to rely on, which is why I feel like we had a successful season,” says Avery. “We definitely improved over the course of the season. We know what tips to give each other, each other’s weaknesses, and we know what to say to each other.”
Avery says that she typically patrols the baseline, while Bowerman plays at the net. Still, Avery made it a point to work on becoming the most complete tennis player she can be.
“My strength is more along the baseline. This season, I tried to be more aggressive and move up to the net,” she says. “That helped with my overall tennis ability.”
As a member of the swim team, Avery found that competing in the 100 breaststroke was her specialty.
“It’s my strongest event for sure,” she says. “People would always say you’re either born to do it or it’s difficult. For me, it always came easily, so I tried to build it up and I really love it, too.”
Avery plans to attend Western New England University this fall. Although she’s unsure if she’s going to play tennis at the next level, Avery will always appreciate the good times she had at North Haven, and knows that she will be on the court one way or the other for years to come.
“I always hear the saying, ‘Tennis is a lifetime sport.’ I think it’s good being on a team now, because who knows if we’ll go out and be able to bring back these high-school memories?” says Avery. “It’ll be nice to continue playing, because I truly love the sport.”
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