Blazers conquer Whitman Vikings

Oct. 11, 2005, midnight | By Merlyn Deng | 18 years, 9 months ago

Blazers win final divisional match of the season


The girls tennis team solidified its place in Division I and improved its record to 6-4 after winning a decisive divisional match today against the Whitman Vikings, 5-2. Their win insures Blair's girls tennis a place among the top five teams in the county.

First singles player, Stephanie Paul, a senior, ended her match in less than an hour when she easily defeated her opponent 6-1, 6-0 with strong serves. Paul's victory would be an auspicious sign for the outcome of the rest of the matches later on in the afternoon.

Third singles player senior Janice No gave Whitman one of rivaling school's two victories after struggling against her opponent and finally losing 6-1, 6-3.

Second singles player, senior Pearl Horng, and third doubles players, senior Margot Pass and sophomore Priyanka Gokhale, finished after No when they thrashed their opponents 6-3, 6-3 and 6-2, 7-5, respectively.

Afterwards, fourth singles player Jasleen Salwan suffered a 6-3, 6-4 loss, unable to fend off her opponent.

Over two hours into the school matches, first doubles players seniors Dominique Franson and Jahnavi Bhaskar pulled off a strong ending performance to win 6-1, 4-6 and 6-4 after making careless mistakes during their second set.

The first doubles players were not the only players that had problems on the courts yesterday. Second doubles players senior Kristi Chakrabarti and sophomore Bonnie Ding played the most grueling match of the day until finally beating their opponents in three sets and two tiebreakers, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5) and 6-3 to conclude Blair's match against Whitman.

Despite the two losses Blair suffered today, Paul was happy with the results. "Janice [No] and Jasleen [Salwan] gave it their best, but had tough matches," she said.

According to Coach David Ngbea, this is the first match Blair has won against Whitman in ten years and said that the girls exhibited major improvement from past matches. "We worked hard and it's paying off," he said.
Team captain Stephanie Paul said that while the team won, their performance had some weak areas against Whitman's team. "Half the team was really on and half of the team was really off. Some matches went closer than they should have, " she said.

Ngbea, however, attributed the closer matches to the Whitman girls' skills. "I'm impressed with [Whitman]. They were hitting good shots and volleys," he said.
With the reassurance that the tennis squad will remain Division I after shaky performances in the past, Ngbea believes that their improved skills will help the girls do well in the county tournament. In particular, Paul is optimistic about the first doubles team's prospects in the tournament.

Despite the euphoria of successfully staying in Division I, Ngbea remembers that this divisional victory is bittersweet. "We're losing so many players [next year], and we have to worry about recruiting new ones [for next year]," he said.

With the divisional matches finished, the girls will return to the courts in a non-divisional match against Blake away from home on Oct. 14 at 3:30 p.m. and will return to Blair Oct. 17 for a match against Kennedy at 3:30 p.m. The county tournament will begin on Oct. 24, when the girls' tennis singles and doubles players will play against other Division I players.

Merlyn Deng. Merlyn (Mer - LEEN) has an unhealthy fixation on Silver Chips Online, the Silver Chips Manifesto, red pens and serial commas. When not editing stories and racking her brain for SCO and its readers, she may be found haunting Blair's hallways or downtown Silver Spring. … More »

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