The Tennis Team is Serving Competition


Will Eaton, Writer

It’s April Helena High! The back-and-forth nature of the intemperate spring weather also translates to the rally on the tennis court. Helena High’s tennis coach, Nicole Riebe, has been coaching the sport for 23 years, 11 of which have been here at HHS. Riebe said her tennis coaches and role models from her high school years taught her valuable lessons on and off the court that eventually led her to coach. In 2012 when she first joined the team as the junior varsity (JV) coach, there were only 16 players. In the following years, they raised that to nearly 40 players on the team. Being a no-cut sport, Riebe thinks more players are willing to give the sport a try. Since her involvement in the team, the varsity boys took 2nd at state in 2017 and the varsity girls took 3rd at state in 2021.  

So far this season, the weather has been the team’s toughest opponent. One month into the season and they’ve only had two competition days with some JV and Varsity players yet to play a match. Riebe noted that the varsity girls are an experienced group this year while the varsity boys having a lot of first- time players. “Everyone is getting better every day!” noted Reibe. “It’s great to see the players recruiting their friends and helping teach them the game. We’re looking forward to the weather to cooperate so we can showcase what we have!” Reibe added. 

Reibe said working with a variety of athletes is something she loves. “Being able to work with players to learn the skills of the game, provide them the confidence in their skills and help them realize they can compete at a level they didn’t realize they could is so fun to see!” Reibe explained. For many of the players, tennis is a social activity with friends. For others, the sport is very competitive with the goal of competing for a state championship always in the back of their mind. “The best part is we can meet every player where they are at, teach them the game and have fun playing” Reibe stated.  

Respect and discipline are some core values Reibe noted she tries to instill in her athletes. Reibe said players work on their discipline by respecting practice time, developing matches, and working on their mental state. 

Reibe said that creating a strong team dynamic “starts at practices by having everyone work together to help each other get better.” Little things like team dinners, playing non-tennis related games at practice, and going for ice cream on hot days are just some of the special moments the team enjoys together.   

Coming up in the next few months, the team will have matches in Bozeman and Butte where they will play teams they don’t usually compete with. The Divisional Tournament where players can qualify for State will take place the 3rd week of May. 

Reibe said, “Coaches always love when players achieve more than they thought they could.” Good luck tennis team! We’re looking forward to seeing how your season progresses- and don’t worry, we won’t raise a racquet of noise when cheering you on from the sidelines!