Despite the heat, Blazers win first of season
The girls' tennis team opened their season successfully Monday, Sep 9 with a 4-3 victory at B-CC.
In 90 degree heat, three of the seven matches went to three sets and two others took two long sets to decide the winner. Senior number two singles player Lisa Kim's match lasted almost three hours, a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 loss. Kim combined a powerful forehand with well-placed backhand drop shots to win the second set but was unable to close it out.
In the last match of the afternoon, freshman number one singles player Stephanie Paul clinched Blair's victory with a 7-5, 6-4 win over B-CC player Victoria Kastina. Paul's quickness enabled her to return numerous would-be winners to lead Kastina to many unforced errors that cost her the match. Leading 7-5, 5-4, Paul won five points in the final game alone off of unforced errors.
On the second doubles court, sophomore Seema Kacker and junior Emily Tsui won 6-4, 6-2 in a back and forth match. After leading 4-0 in the first set, the score closed to 4-4 due to a few double faults from what Tsui called a "lack of movement."
Juniors Katherine Epstein and Aditi Bhaskar narrowly lost their number one doubles match, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. However, they played well at the net, including two point-blank volleys by Epstein to win a crucial point.
Coach David Ngbea believes the team's biggest area for improvement is on approach shots. "They need to learn to put away short balls," he said. Ngbea added that the problem was when players were "hitting the ball back to the baseline, thereby elongating the point" when they should be going for a quick winner.
Other winners included senior third singles player Christina Feng, 7-5, 6-4, and junior fourth singles player Valerie Shen, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
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