Meredith Frankel admitted it was “really nerve-wracking” when she was thrust into the top singles spot for the Danville girls tennis team this season.
“We had a junior (Madeline Salinas) who had quit, and Jodi (Gay) wasn’t there that day, so we all had to move up,” the Danville sophomore said. “It’s really hard. I like the challenge. I don’t really expect to win all the time, but I do like playing it.”
“I was a little timid about it. But I was like, yeah sure. I think it helped a lot in improving how I play.”
Even though Frankel hasn’t won as much as she would have liked, first-year coach Ryan Adams said he can see the improvement in her game in each match.
“As the year’s gone on, she’s just gotten better and better,” he said. “She’s kept a real good upbeat attitude about. She’s gotten some confidence as the year’s gone on because she’s gotten more competitive with each match.”
Which may have also helped her when she teamed with her cousin, sophomore Hannah Frankel, to form the Admirals’ top doubles team.
“This is only our second year playing. It was a little rough at first, but we’ve gotten a lot better at playing together this year,” Meredith Frankel said. “Our goal was to play together nicely and try to win. But we didn’t expect to win all the time.”
Hannah Frankel said it was just natural to pair the two up. She says they even get confused as twins.
“We’re really close as cousins. So it makes it pretty fun to play together, and it’s a good time,” she said. “Sometimes we do get mad at each other, and I guess it’s more personal since we know each other.”
But Meredith Frankel said there is never a carryover after any disagreements.
“It stays on the court. I always feel bad when I get mad at her,” she said.
Adams said the duo has developed a good chemistry early.
“They communicate really well together and continue to stay upbeat,” he said. “They’ve had some really good wins this year, and are just playing really well.”
Hannah Frankel said the whole Danville team has had to learn on the fly and has gained a lot of experience after losing its top four players from a year ago.
“I thought it was going to be a new experience for all of us because most of us are sophomores, and we had three seniors plus (Salinas) last year. So it’s a greater leap after the four top players leaving,” she said.
The two are also looking to improve on their showing at the 12th Region Tournament, which could go a long way towards building for the future.
“We won our first match last year, but lost our second,” Hannah Frankel said. “We want to advance, and just get better as a team.”