Nanase Takara is a senior on Havelock’s girls’ tennis team. She’s also the Rams’ No. 2 singles player. Takara and the Rams won their first team match in three seasons with a 5-4 victory over White Oak Tuesday. Takara talked to Sun Journal Sports Editor Adam Thompson about Tuesday’s win and much more.
SJ: How special of a moment was it for your team to end that three-year long losing streak?
NT: It was really exciting because I’ve been playing here for two years. Coach (Meredith) Shaw wanted us to win and we won, which made her really happy. Now, we can focus on practicing more so we can beat more teams.
SJ: How did you guys remain positive leading up to your win over White Oak?
NT: We had pep talks and tried to think positively. We’d remain close and like braid each other’s hair on the bus.
SJ: What does a win like that do for your confidence?
NT: Now that we know we can beat teams, we are going to put more effort into practice and practice more.
SJ: What responsibilities come with being a senior leader on this team?
NT: I have to get everybody together to stretch and run. You have to kind of be that mom of the team.
SJ: How long have you been playing tennis?
NT: I’ve been playing at Havelock since my sophomore year. I started playing when I was five, then I stopped. I played in middle school, then I stopped. It’s been on-and-off.
SJ: Why did you start playing tennis?
NT: My mom, Julianna Takara, told me I have to do something, and that I couldn’t just sit around the house.
SJ: What do enjoy about playing tennis?
NT: It’s really fun when it’s one-on-one. It’s not like soccer where it’s a team sport. You only have to focus on yourself, and when you play doubles, you have a bond with a partner.
SJ: What are your plans after high school?
NT: College. I want to become an international lawyer. I want to study linguistics and law, maybe at N.C. State.
SJ: How is your doubles team playing with Selena Li?
NT: It’s difficult because I’ve never played with her before. At the start of the year, I chose my partner and we have to really bond and practice together so that we can win.