Girls' tennis turns fortunes to go gold against Northwood

Oct. 10, 2006, midnight | By Amanda Pollak | 14 years, 3 months ago

Blair destroys local rival after dismal loss to Wootton


The girls' tennis team destroyed the Division III Northwood tennis squad without losing a single game in their last home match, raising their record to 4-7.

The team won all six single games, 6-0. Senior captain Jessica Cutler, at fourth singles, had won her second and final set. She was followed shortly after by junior Priyanka Gokhale at second singles before 50 minutes had passed.

Northwood did not have enough players to front a full team, which consists of four singles players and three doubles teams. As a result, Blair won second and third doubles by forfeit.

Meanwhile, at first singles, junior Bonnie Ding's opponent Soraia Seo committed whiff after whiff, unable to keep up with Ding's strong, hard shots. Ding finished within ten minutes of Gokhale, also within an hour.

At first doubles, Cherisa Alford and Tscion Seifo, the opponents of freshman Deepa Chellappa and junior Amy Li committed the same sports sin. One swung cluelessly at a docile hit from Chellappa only to stare up as the shot arked over her partner's head, onto the far side of their half of the court. Within an hour, Blair had won the match, with only junior Jasleen Salwan at third singles yet to finish.

The win served as a reversal of fortune and major improvement on yesterday's devastating 0-7 loss to Wootton. Players struggled with frustration and aim while playing the more experienced Division I squad.

One of the worst parts of the match against Wootton, said Coach Ngbea, was that the team lost five matches 0-6, with second and third doubles teams losing both 0-6 and fourth singles player senior Jessica Cutler losing the first set 0-6.

Furthermore, he said, a few of the matches started out well, with Blair winning, which made the losses all the worse, in their preventability. At first singles, junior Bonnie Ding had a strong and more competitive game, said Ngbea. Likewise, at second singles, junior Priyanka Gokhale played strongly and was winning for the first part of the match, ultimately losing to her Wootton opponent as well. The first doubles team was up by one point but also fell behind.

Ngbea feels willpower was a major issue in the Wootton match. I need to see that they have some kind of desire to win, said Ngbea. You have to want to win.

The key, however, said Ngbea, was the experience of the Wootton squad. Unlike Blair, he said, every girl on Wootton tennis is in some kind of training. As a result of this discrepancy, he will require all girls' tennis players to play in the offseason if they wish to play next year.
Because players do not play year-round, he said, they must spend the preseason teaching and re-teaching the basics. It is crucial, he said, for the team to have a basic understanding of the forehand and backhand swings for next year. This, he said, is especially an issue for newer players who, he said, go and hang up their rackets when they clearly need more practice.
The match against Northwood was the last home match, and the match against Wootton was the last divisional match. The last away match is against Divison II Kennedy at 3:30 on Oct. 16.

Amanda Pollak. More »

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