Blazer tennis paints Paintbranch silver, black and red all over

Sept. 13, 2006, midnight | By Amanda Pollak | 14 years, 4 months ago

Girls' tennis recovers and learns from Magruder loss in time for Paint Branch


The girls' tennis team defeated Division II Paint Branch in a 7-0 rout, recovering and learning from their Friday 0-7 loss at the hands of Magruder.

Third and fourth singles junior Jasleen Salwan and senior captain Jess Cutler were off the court in less than an hour after quick victories. Salwan won 6-0, 6-1 and Cutler won 6-0, 6-2. An hour and a half later, the match ended with the tiebreaker victory of the third doubles team, freshmen Tiffany Chang and Sarah Tran.

Unfortunately, freshman alternate Redab Alnifaidy said many team members are suffering from various illnesses. As a result, the team was short junior Dawn Brimmer, who ordinarily plays second doubles with freshman Elissa Shiau.
Brimmer was replaced by alternate freshman Gloria Rinonos. Although both did well, and eventually won 7-5, 6-3, their lack of experience together was not lost on the audience, particularly Coach David Ngbea, who joked about the pair almost walking into each other.

Nonetheless, Ngbea was very happy with the doubles pair, particularly Rinonos. She's normally an alternate, he emphasized, but "now she's playing second doubles, and, along with Elissa, winning."

Rinones was not as sure. She feels they played "on and off. Sometimes we'd call the ball and sometimes we wouldn't," she said.

First singles player junior Bonnie Ding, had her first win of the season in a decisive 6-1, 6-2 match against Paint Branch's starting senior. Overall, she thought the match went very well. "The weather was great," she added. "No sun to look at, not too cold, not too hot."

After a day's team practice devoted to spinning the ball, consistency was her focus during the Paint Branch match. "I was trying to work on that today," she said. "Consistency is getting it to stay in and if you add spin, the chances of it staying in are higher."

Coach David Ngbea sees consistency, in the wake of the Magruder loss, as the team's biggest struggle. "Magruder players were strong," he emphasized.
"What I wanted them to do, when we came out of that match, was consistency, to be consistent and swing at the ball at the same time and hit with spin."
The spin, he explains, is the most important skill the team needs to work on. "If we put spin on the ball, then our chances of winning are good," he said.

The first doubles team, junior Amy Li and Deepa Chellapa, struggled, but were able to secure a win, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Second singles junior Priyanka Gokhale won 6-1, 6-4.

Ngbea maintained that the team learned from the Magruder match and Alnifaidy agreed. "In the Magruder match, we lost 0-7 but I guess it only motivated us to do better for the rest of the season," she explained. "It wasn't discouraging at all, or it wasn't as discouraging as it would seem."

The team's next match is tomorrow at Walter Johnson.

Amanda Pollak. More »

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