Girls' tennis dominates Kennedy

Oct. 16, 2006, midnight | By Amanda Pollak | 14 years, 6 months ago

Blair finishes season with satisfying win

Oct. 16, KENNEDY–

The girls' tennis team finished its season with a 7-0 rout of Kennedy and raised its record to 5-7.

Five minutes into the game, Blair was already ahead in every match. Twenty minutes in, junior Jasleen Salwan at third singles had already won her first set 6-0 and juniors Priyanka Gokhale and Bonnie Ding, at second and first singles respectively, were not far behind, both with a score of 5-0. The second doubles team was the only Kennedy representative to get onto the scoreboard, with a losing score of 1-2. Five minutes later, all Blair players on the court had won the first set except for the second doubles team.

Kennedy has only six courts. As a result, the third doubles team began after the conclusion of the first singles.

Before forty minutes had elapsed, Ding had won the first game on a golden set, having won both sets 6-0, 6-0 and finished the season with a bang. Five minutes later, senior Jess Cutler at fourth singles finished her last match with Blair, boosting an impressive 6-1, 6-0. Within minutes, Gokhale and Salwan were off the court, also with golden sets.

Ding made the game look easy, barely moving to return shots and putting her opponent off guard time after time. Canty had the hardest shots on her squad, yet, like the rest of her team, struggled significantly.

Likewise, Salwan's opponent Kanokphan Rattanawatkul simply couldn't keep up and struggled to hit nearly every third shot and serve into the net. Overall, hitting into the net was a constant problem for the Kennedy squad and made Blair's job much easier. Although Salwan's hard, low shots occasionally got stuck at the net, overall they baffled Rattanawatkul.

The third singles match also brought up issues of sportsmanship as Rattanawatkul continued to dispute Salwan's calls. Tennis etiquette dictates that players bear responsibility for calling balls out on their own side of the court.

Cutler's opponent Beth Brandt hit the ball over the net–– and straight through the crack of the door on the opposite side of the court–– all without the ball touching the ground. This type of play was typical from the Kennedy squad. Frequently, Kennedy players' shots either went far out of bounds or didn't make it over the net, presenting Blair with an ideal opportunity.

At third doubles, freshmen Tiffany Chang and Sarah Tran played well against noticeably weaker and less coordinated opponents Nettiel Stewart and May Tangtrongnanit. In a particularly intelligent play by Chang and Tran, Chang stood in front of the center of the net and reached for each shot that came her way to slam it down back onto her opponents' side of the court. The pair eventually won 6-0, 6-0.

At first doubles, freshman Deepa Chellappa and junior Amy Li won 6-0, 6-2 and at second doubles, freshmen Elissa Shiau and Gloria Rinonos won 6-1, 6-2.

Overall, said Chellappa, the game was a pleasant conclusion to the season. "Everyone won," she said. "It was a really strong, good finish and a high note for everyone, especially Jess cause it's her last season."

Amanda Pollak. More »

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