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Starbursts and rackets: varsity tennis traditions

Though many sports teams have superstitions and lucky charms, Marlborough’s tennis team stands out in particular because of their pre-game and post-game rituals, including eating Starbursts before matches.

“We started playing doubles last year and then one match we both had Starbursts before, and we played just out of our minds amazing . . . so we kind of passed that onto the team . . . and now we all have a Starburst before every match,” Arianna ’21 said.  

Another tradition the team takes part in before a game is to make sure to always cheer second, in order to be louder than the opposing team after placing their rackets in a specific order in the middle of the huddle. Arianna’s racket always has to be on the bottom.

Besides the pre-match rituals, there is also a tradition that seniors on the Varsity team plan a surprise team bonding for the younger girls. This year, the seniors took everyone to Tessa ’19’s house to swim, then drove to In-N-Out and picnicked at the Griffith Observatory. After going inside to explore the observatory, the team drove back to Larchmont and got ice cream from Jeni’s.

Having been the 2017 CIF Finalists, the team believes their traditions help them win, even if it’s just getting them excited to play.

“I love having rituals because they get me in the mood to win. Even if eating a pink Starburst doesn’t actually make me play better than I would’ve, it makes me happy and encourages me to win for the team because we all did this ritual together,” Tessa said.