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Sept. 16, 2015

Girls' tennis triumphs over Sherwood

by Randima Herath, Online Editor-in-Chief
The Blair girls' varsity tennis team (3-0) struggled all afternoon against Sherwood (1-2) in their third match of the season, but eventually came away with victory. The Blazers won four of seven games, just as they did in their home opener against Walter Johnson (1-1) two weeks ago.

The win over Walter Johnson was followed by an easier match against Springbrook (2-1), where the Blazers won all seven games. But they found themselves against an evenly matched team Friday afternoon. All eyes were on sophomore Priscah Rodenhuis, the highest-ranking player on the team, as she played the first singles game. Both Rodenhuis and her opponent found difficulty in keeping up with each other, increasing the tension on the court. Unfortunately, Rodenhuis lost with a score of 1-6, 0-6, which was a shock for the team. "I hit balls out and my return shots weren't all that good either. My serves were awful," Rodenhuis said.

The third and fourth singles were lengthy and played by senior Divya Rajagopal and sophomore Emma Shillerstrom, respectively. Both Blazers displayed consistency in their shots as they battled tirelessly against their skilled opponents. Ultimately, Rajagopal and Shillerstrom were able to win their games with scores of 6-3, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-0.
One of the highlights of the match was when sophomore twins Caitlin and Gillian Lee played the longest game of them all, winning their doubles game and securing the win for Blair. With a series of perfectly aimed serves and show of agility, the twins wrapped up the match in high spirits.

Senior and team captain Arianna Sankar reflected on the match as a well-deserved win for Blair, believing that everyone played to the best of their ability. "We fought hard and it was a close match, but we won," she said. On the other hand, Coach David Ngbea was somewhat disappointed with the performance of the Blazers. "We need to be more assertive. We are playing with a total lack of plan in my opinion," he said.

Ngbea also cited many areas for improvement, which the Blazers will have to focus on before their first divisional game this week against Churchill (2-0). "I think everyone needs to improve their serves and their return of serves. If we can't serve well and we can't return well, you will lose your serve and you can't break their serve, which means the match is basically over," he said.

Blair's game against Churchill on Wednesday will be a challenge. Last year, the Blazers lost all seven games to them in a disappointing defeat. However, Ngbea believes that Blair will be more successful this year. "We are a good team so we should be able to perform well," he said.

Editor's note: Divya Rajagopal is an editor for Silver Chips Online.



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