SEPT. 21, BLAZER COURTS
Blair's girls' tennis squad won a crucial divisional match today against the Magruder Colonels 6-1, improving their record to 3-1 on the year. The convincing win broke a three year losing streak against Magruder and greatly increased the Blazers chances of remaining in Division I next year.
Blair jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on strong performances from first singles player, junior Stephanie Paul, and the first doubles team, juniors Jahnavi Bhaskar and Dominique Franson. Paul bounced back from two bad games early in the first set to blow by her opponent 6-3, 6-0. Despite occasional serving inconsistencies, Paul's game looked strong and featured impressive baseline winners in the second set. The first doubles team also made quick work of the Colonels, winning 6-1, 6-2. Bhaskar and Franson mixed fast reflexes at the net with solid ground strokes to breeze by their opponents.
Soon after the first two victories were completed, the second singles player, junior Pearl Horng, finished off an easy 6-0, 6-1 victory. The Blazers clinched the match with a victory by the third doubles team of junior Kiran Belani and senior Tiffany Chang 6-1, 6-1. The second doubles squad featuring Margot Pass and Sarah Wolk also finished early in the afternoon with a 6-2, 6-0 win.
The final two matches of the afternoon were both grueling three set matches. Senior Seema Kacker, playing third singles, prevailed in a marathon 3 hour and 20 minute match 7-5, 6-7(7-4), 6-4. Kacker showed incredible resilience overcoming a loss in the second set after leading it 5-4. Blair's only loss on the day came when junior Janice No fell 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 playing fourth singles.
Coach David Ngbea said the team's chances of staying in Division I "improved significantly because of this win." Blair was nearly knocked down to Division II after last season when they finished last in the upper division. However, the addition of Northwood into Division II bumped Blair back into Division I for the start of this year, and Blair quickly proved that they belong in the upper-echelon of Montgomery County tennis.
Ngbea also believes the win will improve his team's self-assurance. "I think it's a confidence booster any way you slice it," he said. Ngbea added that his team had been focusing on today's contest for a while, saying, "We have visualized winning this match for so long."
The Blazers next match is a make-up at Northwood tomorrow, September 22. Blair returns home Thursday September 23 to take on Wootton.
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