Now in her fourth year as a varsity standout, having played countless matches against the best the state has to offer, Andover High senior Rachel Holzman knows she has experienced just about everything a high school tennis player could see.
“With all the experiences and all the different things you go though during a meet, I feel like I have done it all,” said Holzman. “So now I go into every match with a good feeling. I remember what it was like when I was a freshman, how scary it was. I want to do for our younger girls what the older players did for me back then.”
The former freshman hotshot is now one of three seniors that have taken on the leadership role for the Golden Warriors that stand at 6-1 through Monday, joined by Annie Garvin and Julia Alagero.
“I couldn’t imagine being captain with two other girls,” said Garvin. “They are such great girls and great leaders. The girls look up to them, and we are working to do the best job that we can.”
For Holzman, who emerged as a varsity player first as a member of the No. 1 doubles team before taking on the No. 2 singles spot later in her freshman year, the chance to guide the younger players is one she is more than happy to take on.
“I was very fortunate to see time on the varsity team as a freshman,” said Holzman, who is 6-1 between No. 1 and 2 singles this season. “It was definitely very nerve-wracking to be so young and be playing older players. But our older players really made me feel comfortable. Each year I feel like I have evolved as a player. So I want to be welcoming and do everything I can for the younger girls.”
Holzman delivered her best season to date last year, earning All-MVC honors after going 10-1 in the MVC. She was also a starting midfielder for the soccer team and ranks in the top 20 percent of her high school class.