Liska, Ganas lead Knights’ charge
The Lake Havasu girls’ tennis team is in the midst of its third consecutive season finishing atop its section and is gearing up for a run in the state playoffs.
While it has been a complete team effort from the Knights this season, the team has relied heavily on the play of its No. 1 doubles pair, senior Tatum Liska and junior Athena Ganas.
“For them to go out there and put the record up they have, it just gives everybody confidence,” said girls’ tennis head coach Greg Breuckner of his team leaders. “The team just follows their lead.”
Liska and Ganas, who began playing as doubles partners last season, have gone 13-1 as a pair this season. Individually, Liska is currently 25-3, while Ganas is 26-2.
Their lone loss in doubles came Monday against Prescott in a road match which ended on a tiebreaker.
Liska thought the match could have easily gone their way but she does feel they learned a lot from it.
“It proved a lot to me by seeing what kind of players we can compete against,” said Liska. “I think it showed that we’re as good as we think we can be.”
Ganas echoed her partner’s words in their confidence level moving ahead to state playoffs.
“I feel like we’ll be really good in state,” said Ganas. “We just have to stay positive and communicate with each other.”
However, the two’s success did not happen overnight as Liska, who was used to playing with her sister Bailee, had to adjust to playing alongside Ganas who had another doubles partner in the past as well.
“It definitely took a few matches to get in sync with each other,” said Ganas. “As we practiced more, we got used to it and we became closer as friends as well.”
As far as their roles as leaders on the team, the two both prefer to lead by example and let their play show how hard they work in practice.
Brueckner, who is in his 11th season at Lake Havasu, has played an influential role on both Liska and Ganas both on and off the court.
“He always pushes me to be my best and he always believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself,” said Liska. “He’s always knows what to pinpoint what I need to correct when I play.”
“He’s a great coach,” said Ganas. “My skill level and my confidence has grown so much from having him as a coach. He’s helped me a lot.”
The Knights are 12-2 this season and will wrap up their regular season on Tuesday on the road against Buckeye Union. They are currently ranked ninth in their division.
Breuckner’s teams have only missed the state playoffs once during his tenure at Lake Havasu but he feels this team is special.
“Best team we’ve ever had, not even close,” said Breuckner.
Lake Havasu has a number of other players who boast impressive records this season as well.
Junior Jaidyn Chauhan stands at 21-5 this season, senior Hannah Jackson is 17-6, senior Shivangi Bhakta is 15-2 and sophomore Kovina Savita is 16-5.