Season finale offers Blazer tennis delight

Oct. 9, 2008, midnight | By Poorna Natarajan | 15 years, 8 months ago

Girls' tennis team beats the Blake Bengals 7-0


The girls' tennis team satisfyingly concluded the season on Tuesday with a bold win against the Blake Bengals by a score of 7-0, setting the overall season record to an even 6-6.

A victory against Blake was anticipated by both the team and the head coach David Ngbea, but Ngbea still noticed the Blazers' improvement since the last game. "I expected us to win after we beat Magruder because Magruder beat Blake 7-0," said Ngbea.

First singles senior captain Sneha Kannan effortlessly dominated her opponent Kelly Shih with winning scores of 6-2, 6-1. Unlike many of the previous games, Kannan was not forced to move around the court too much, preventing her long-term ankle injury from becoming a liability. On the other hand, Shih played aggressively but had difficulty keeping her balls in play. Despite the win, Kannan felt she had made simple mistakes, which extended the game and resulted in the three points she lost.

Second singles sophomore Shilpa Kannan destroyed Blake's Drew Virgil at 6-1, 6-2 with her powerful serves and solid forehands. Shilpa responded to Virgil's fast shots powerfully and forced Virgil to commit multiple errors. Virgil's unnecessary mistakes were more prevalent in the second set and gave Shilpa easy points, allowing her to secure a convincing win.

Gaining momentum as the match progressed, third singles junior Deepa Chellapa defeated Kemi Olonoofayoku at 4-6, 6-2 and 10-8. Chellappa was able to win the second set and tie breaker by recognizing her opponent's weaknesses on the court. Fourth singles junior Sarah Tran sent powerful volleys that her opponent Lynne Virgil struggled to return, allowing her to cruise to victory. "I did better volleys and my opponent scrambled for the ball," said Tran.

Walking of the court early, first doubles sophomores Ava Wallace and Hannah Ho crushed Blake's Cythia Chou and Kristina Corocoran at 6-1, 6-0. They sealed their victory by "not playing down to their opponents," according to Ho. "We did not want to take it easy and tried to play our best." However, neither Ho nor Wallace felt this was their best game. "It's not like we played amazingly," said Wallace. "We didn't feel as if our opponents hit a winner."

In a long battle against opponents Linda Hwang and Stella Park, second doubles sophomore Ann Choi and freshman Anna Lu played assiduously. During both sets, Choi's and Lu's performance fluctuated, according to Lu. Choi and Lu played at their best during the beginning of the first match. Although they were not very consistent, Choi and Lu sent sound shots that resulted in their win of 6-4, 6-4.

Third doubles junior Tiffany Chang and sophomore Anya Gosine triumphed Blake's Tina Sassler and Paige Gardner at 6-3, 6-1. They shared an easy win because of their opponents' flaws, which included their inability to keep balls in play and weak volleys.

After the game, Ngbea felt that girls have improved into advanced players as result of a challenging season. "I was very doubtful in the beginning because we did not play competitively," said Ngbea. "But the girls improved significantly. They keep the balls in play, play more consistently and send better volleys."

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