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Sept. 5, 2009

Blazers hold the Panthers' feet to the fire

by Mandy Xu, News and Entertainment editor
BLAZER TENNIS COURTS, Sept. 4 -

The girls' tennis team brought competition to the court Friday afternoon in their season opener against the Paint Branch Panthers. Despite the unyielding sunlight, the Blazers outplayed the Panthers' performance with a decisive 7-0 score.

Coach David Ngbea expressed pride at the team's performance. "We won convincingly, so that's good," he said. "I am definitely pleased."

The singles matches were no contest for the Blazers. Freshman Janvi Raichura quickly and victoriously demolished her opponent at fourth singles with a 6-0, 6-0 win. Raichura set the tone of the match, walking off the courts first, and provided the Blazers with the upper hand. "I was up for the entire game," Raichura said. Although Rachura is the only starter who did not play for the tennis team last year, Coach David Ngbea remarked that she is a player to watch for the season.

The first singles match was a contest between junior Shilpa Kannan and Paint Branch's senior co-captain Fathiyya Saeed. Following Raichura's success, Kannan utilized precise and speedy forehands and was able to secure a 6-1, 6-0 win. Kannan consistently played effortlessly throughout the game.

Ending the singles matches, senior co-captain Deepa Chellappa finished second singles with a 6-1, 6-0 win and senior co-captain Sarah Tran ended third singles with a 6-1, 6-0 victory.

At first doubles, senior co-captains Elissa Shiau and Tiffany Chang played aggressively and invested great energy to secure their 6-0, 6-1 score against Panther seniors Meghanna Vodela and Michelle Le. "Our hard practicing paid off, and I thought that it went pretty well," Chang said.

Juniors Hannah Ho and Ava Wallace had a rough start to the second doubles match against Paint Branch's Brianna Sanders and Jonghui Park. Hannah Ho stated that she thought they did not play their best, as maintaining an offensive position and handling the ball within the court proved to be challenges. "Our volleys were kind of off at the beginning, but they got better as the game went on," Ho said. However, strong serves from both Wallace and Ho helped secure the 6-1, 6-0 win.

Third doubles ended the afternoon, with junior Ann Choi and freshman Anna Lu matched against Paint Branch's Sara Siddigui and Meron Filta. The pair was forceful with constant hits and finished with a 6-2, 6-0 win. "We started out strong and scored in the first shot," Choi said. Lu and Choi made powerful serves during the match and were able to hit several aces.

Coach Ngbea said he was most proud of the fact that the girls recognized mishaps during the game and worked to correct them. "They did take time to realize their mistakes. Many realized they need to brush the groundstrokes so that they can be aggressive and keep the ball in the court at the same time," Ngbea said. Through hard work, Ngbea said that he expects the team to be a force within Division I in the future.

The girls' varsity tennis team will play their next home game on Friday, Sept. 11 against Quince Orchard at 3:30 p.m.

Editor's note: Deepa Chellappa is an Editor-in-Chief of Silver Chips Online. Ava Wallace is a Silver Chips Online staff writer.




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