Silver Chips Online

Girls' tennis places sixth in counties

Lady Blazers continue season success in county tournament

By Allison Daitch, Online Managing Editor
October 29, 2010
The girls' tennis team (8-4) began their season with low expectations after losing six starting players after the 2009 season, but they were pleasantly surprised by ending with a strong winning record. They went into the county playoffs hoping to achieve a placement that reflected their successful season. The Lady Blazers ultimately placed sixth out of 25 schools in the county.

The girls achieved six points overall, five in the first round from the third and fourth singles and all of the doubles, and one in the quarter-finals from fourth singles player Allison Whitney. Although Coach David Ngbea thought the girls should have placed higher, with ten or more points, he was still generally pleased with the results.

All of Blair's starting players went to compete in counties. Due to each singles player and doubles teams' winning individual records, no players had to compete in the preliminaries and all went directly into the Round of 16. According to Ngbea, the counties determine a school's overall ranking, but does not affect the divisional standing.

Fourth singles sophomore Allison Whitney was the only player who won in the quarter-finals and made it to the semi-finals where she lost to number-one ranked Churchill. Whitney played Walter Johnson in a quarter-final match that had to be player over the course of two days, but she eventually won after three sets. Ngbea was extremely impressed with Whitney's performance in counties and throughout the season. "Allison was an unexpected gift - a pleasant surprise. I was very happy with her performance, not just in the counties, and I'm very proud of her overall," Ngbea said.

Blair, which remains a Division I team, placed sixth behind Churchill, Whitman, B-CC, Wootton and Walter Johnson - all fellow Division I teams. Ngbea was proud that the girls maintained their status solidly positioned in the middle of the eight Division I teams. "It reflects that we are one of the better teams in the county. We ended up in the top six which is a great achievement for a team that only had 12 students," Ngbea said.

First singles senior co-captain Shilpa Kannan and second singles sophomore Janvi Raichura did not make it past the first round of the county competition. Kannan won the match against the same Sherwood opponent she took on during the season, but was not able repeat a victory in counties. "I was a little disappointed but my opponent played better than I did," Kannan said.

Second doubles senior co-captains Ann Choi and Anya Gosine won their first match against Quince Orchard but lost in the second round against Wootton 6-4, 7-5. Choi feels that they played to the best of their abilities, which kept the score close. "It wasn't disappointing, it was frustrating because it was so close. We both played our best and it was just a matter of who got to the ball first," Choi said.

After achieving a winning record despite all the starting line up losses, Ngbea became confident for the post-season. Although he was not thrilled with the results, he still felt proud of the team. "My expectations were much higher, so I felt slightly let down," Ngbea said. "But we only missed [the top five] by two points and they did very well for counties. They gave me an early Christmas."

Five Blazers were selected to compete in the regional competition that will determine who will go on to states. Ngbea selected Whitney to represent Blair's singles, and the doubles teams of Kannan and Raichura and of senior co-captains Ava Wallace and Hannah Ho. The Lady Blazers will be participating in a much more aggressive competition as they fight to represent Blair and Montgomery County.

Editor's Note: Ava Wallace is Editor-in-Chief of Silver Chips Online. Anya Gosine is Managing Editor of Silver Chips Online.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/10391