SEPT. 23, BLAZER COURTS
Playing their third match in as many days, the girls' tennis team was decisively beaten today by a talented Wootton squad 6-1. The loss was the Blazers second in their division and drops their overall record to 4-2.
The Patriots jumped to an early lead and quickly handed the Blazers four defeats to clinch a team victory. First singles player Stephanie Paul was handed her worst loss of the year 6-1, 6-2. Paul showed streaks of excellence but was plagued by unforced errors and uncharacteristic double faults.
Third singles player senior Seema Kacker also struggled, losing 6-0, 6-2. The third doubles team of senior Tiffany Chang and junior Kiran Belani stayed competitive in the first set, but eventually lost 6-3, 6-1. Fourth singles player Janice No was the final player to fall in the early going, losing 6-0, 6-2.
No gave credit to the visiting Patriots for playing the fundamentals well. "They were more consistent and placed the ball really well," she said.
After the early defeats, second singles player junior Pearl Horng finished her match, losing 6-2, 6-3; a score that was more lopsided than the match itself, which included numerous long rallies. One of the most exciting matches of the day came in the second doubles, where freshman Priyanka Gokhale, substituting for absent junior Sarah Wolk, teamed with junior Margot Pass to nearly pull off a surprise victory. Gokhale and Pass forced the game to three sets but could not beat a strong Wootton tandem, losing 6-0, 3-6, 6-2.
The Blazers' lone victory of the day came in first doubles where juniors Jahnavi Bhaskar and Dominique Franson won a hard fought two-set match over their opponents 6-4, 7-5. Bhaskar and Franson were dominant at the net and avoided unforced errors to save Blair from being shut out.
Coach David Ngbea noted that despite the loss, the Blazers showed improvement against what he considered to be their toughest opponent yet. "Wootton played very well, but I think the matches we played were much more competitive than against Whitman."
However, Ngbea believes the Blazers are losing crucial points because of simple mistakes. "We need to minimize errors. So far we have beaten ourselves."
The next match for Blair is September 28 at Quince Orchard. The Blazers' next home match is September 30 at 3:30 p.m. against Paint Branch.
Avi Wolfman-Arent. Avi Wolfman-Arent has been called many things: super genius, mega hunk and an all around cool guy; but through the praise he has remained down-to-earth and humble. At a muscular five feet nine inches he may seem intimidating when striding down Blair Boulevard, but when … More »