Hailey Kessler – Senior captain of the tennis team: Her story and what is on the horizon


Hailey Kessler practices her serving before the first game of the season against Medfield

Hailey Kessler has been a devoted, hardworking team leader and student at HHS. Recently she has taken on the role of team captain for the 2023 spring tennis season, the sport she’s always loved even with all the pressure.

One may think tennis is an easy-going sport but it’s in fact quite the opposite. Whether playing doubles or singles the pressure to excel solely relies on that individual.

Monday afternoon at 2:40 PM Haileys heads to tennis practice where she is greeted by her team and the addition of running three laps around the courts. The girls train hard and long and not one of them slakes off.

Right as they hit the court they get to work. This week, the girls have a game and must ensure they are prepared to take on whatever is coming against them.

“We usually start with warmups that include dynamic stretches, running a few laps, then start our warm-ups which include volleys overheads, forehands, and backhands. Then we practice doubles and singles. It usually changes depending on the day,” Kessler said.

The girls begin their warmup and prepare for their upcoming game.

Tennis has been a major part of her life, she is an extremely skilled tennis player with so much potential for the future. There is much to look forward to for the girls’ team this season, and it’s just getting started. 

Kessler’s family is a huge tennis family, at age seven Hailey started her tennis journey while living in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She enjoyed the sport from a very young age and continued to play even when she moved to Hopkinton in 7th grade. 

“I started playing tennis in the second grade and haven’t stopped since, although some days the sport can get on my nerves. I love all the girls and have a good time,” Kessler said

An hour before Haileys plays her first tennis match for the 2023 spring varsity season
An hour before Haileys plays her first tennis match for the 2023 spring varsity season

Kessler says it’s always about “quality over quantity” which is the best way they have been describing it for years. Tennis is a challenging sport when the attention is solely on you and it is your responsibility to make wins for the team. 

In high school tennis, generally, matches are 6-game sets, using NO-AD scoring. When a match is completed, the next highest-ranked doubles team would then get to play on the court. When another match is completed, the #8 Doubles Teams will get to play, etc.

Last year, Kessler played doubles but this year she will be playing singles.

Singles involve two players competing against each other, usually two men or two women. The game starts with one player serving the ball from the right side of the court behind the baseline

Hailey practices striking the ball with her coach working on form and technique
Hailey practices striking the ball with her coach working on form and technique

 “She doesn’t hit hard but Hailey is a very consistent player,” Coach Calkins said

While watching Kessler practice one can tell how focused she truly is. Avoiding distractions such as her photos being taken, she performs well under pressure which is needed when mastering the sport. 

Classmates and teachers agree that Kessler is a hardworking student and athlete. She is extremely talented and devoted to her work. 

Kessler plans to continue her academic career at the University of Vermont where she will be studying Business.