The tennis courts at Deering High are enveloped in purple wind screens, in large part because of the multicultural makeup of the girls who play there.

The U.S. Tennis Association, responding to a grant proposal from Deering assistant coach Marcy Weeks, donated $2,700 to the program over the winter because of the team’s diversity. A matching grant by the school’s booster club made the wind screens a reality in time for this season.

“It’s a diverse community,” Weeks said. “You’re dealing with girls who have never been introduced to sports in their lives, because they were not allowed to.”

Deering’s roster includes 17 girls from 10 countries. Among them, the teammates speak eight languages.

“A lot of them are refugees,” Weeks said. “Their families are seeking asylum. They’re here just to be safe, away from the dangers of their other countries.”

“It’s nice to see how fortunate we are to have all this culture on our team,” said sophomore Cassi Bigelman, who was born in the Cayman Islands and has a Scottish mother. “At a team dinner, we were sharing stories about our lives and our parents’ lives. They come from so many different places.”

At a recent practice, Bigelman played doubles with freshman Domingas Nzuzi (born in Angola), junior Deborah Mugaju (South Africa) and sophomore Gemima Masangu (Democratic Republic of Congo).

“When you play tennis,” Nzuzi said during a break, “it makes you feel good.”

On a nearby court, freshman Rabia Mohammad Naib of Afghanistan (by way of India) rallied near classmate My-Claire Nkama of Congo. They hope to work their way up from the junior varsity.

That’s the path taken by junior Priscilla Maccario, who was born in France to a French father and Taiwanese mother.

“She’s come up from never hitting a ball, from not doing anything sports-related,” Weeks said, “to now being our No. 2 singles player.”

As Weeks and head coach Stephanie Doane led a stretching circle before a practice, Naib and Nzuzi strolled over a few minutes late.

“When you see that we’re stretching, that means practice has started,” Doane called out. “I should see a sense of urgency. Run!”

Doane pumped her arms to clarify her meaning, and the girls responded. An 18-year educator, Doane teaches humanities and advanced placement U.S. history at Casco Bay High School. She has training in teaching non-native speakers, but geared toward a classroom setting.

“Tennis is a very technical sport and instruction is so important,” she said. “If you don’t have that language, that ability to communicate clearly, it can be very hard.”

Doane grew up in Virginia and worked summers at a tennis academy directed by Phil Rogers, Martina Navratilova’s first U.S. coach and for 23 years a coach at the University of Virginia. He was a proponent of what came to be known as “The Inner Game of Tennis.”

“That was his religion,” Doane said. “We watched him give an entire half-hour lesson to demonstrate his methods and he never said one word. So that’s how I learned how to instruct.”

Deering (4-8) is seeded 10th in the Western Class A tournament and travels to crosstown rival Cheverus (8-4) for a preliminary-round match Tuesday afternoon.