Girls Varsity Tennis
The FGS Girls' Tennis team consists of about 14 players. We play on eight courts, 4 DecoTurf courts (same surface as the U.S. Open) and 4 Har-tru courts, we are one of the few teams to have both the soft and hard surfaces. The facility is highly regarded and through a wonderful relationship for decades with the Washington Club, we enjoy this special facility.
We play a competitive schedule, including teams such as Hopkins, Berkshire, Millbrook, Ethel Walker, Westover, and Hamden Hall and play in the Suffield tournament in mid-May. The team philosophy is not to just win matches, but to have every girl who participates in the program learn and improve their tennis skills. Some come into the program with very basic tennis skills, and we teach them the sport. The coaching staff emphasize forehands, backhands, serves, volleys, strategy (especially doubles strategy) as well as court etiquette during practice each day.
The end objective is for each of the players to learn a lifelong sport, potentially play in college, but almost certainly be able to play courteously and well at the club level for the rest of their lives. Team play; a willingness to have fun, and a competitive spirit are key traits of an athlete on the team. Each athlete is an important member of our team and plays a vital role in the success of the program.
Meet the Coaches
Assistant CoachJen began her association with private secondary schools by attending The Loomis Chaffee School. After Loomis, she attended Gettysburg College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Marine Mammal Science. During her time at Gettysburg, Jen fostered two main interests, working with dolphins and traveling abroad. After some time working with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center, Jen’s interest in travel won the day, leading her to turn her attention to language and history. Jen pursued these interests through study, including a summer spent at Middlebury College’s French School. Eventually, Jen’s studies and her love of History led her to Georgetown University where she earned her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies in Medieval and Early European History, graduating in 2007. Following her graduation from Georgetown, Jen accepted a teaching position at Cheshire Academy, where she remained for two years teaching AP European History, History Humanities, and Modern World History, and coaching the Varsity Swim Team and Girls Varsity Tennis. In 2009, Jen was pleased to join the faculty of The Frederick Gunn School as a member of the History department where she teaches World History and Modern Global Honors. Beyond the classroom, Jen serves The Frederick Gunn School in several additional roles, including the Sophomore Class Dean, Head Coach of Fall X-Term, and Assistant Coach of Girls’ Varsity Tennis. In 2018, Jen was awarded The Class of '55 Distinguished Teacher Award. In her free time, Jen enjoys spending time with friends and family, swimming, skiing, hiking, sailing, playing tennis, and traveling.
Head CoachTyler Sheikh joined The Frederick Gunn School in 2022 as Associate Director of College Counseling and Head Coach for Boys Varsity Soccer. He is also an Assistant Coach for Boys JV Tennis. Raised in nearby Woodbury, Connecticut, Tyler graduated from Nonnewaug High School. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Quinnipiac University, where he played for the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Team, and earned his master's degree in education from the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining Gunn, Tyler was a faculty instructor and Head Men's Soccer Coach at Bates College in Freeport, Maine. In his first season at Bates, the team was regionally ranked in New England. In Tyler’s second season as head coach, the team had its best season in the modern NESCAC. Fun fact: Tyler was the lead singer of the band Cripped War Machine, which is currently on a two-decade hiatus. He lives in Woodbury with his wife, Alea, and daughters, Miller and Avery.