Vikings Breeze by Girls' Tennis

Sept. 15, 2004, midnight | By Avi Wolfman-Arent | 17 years, 8 months ago


The Walt Whitman Vikings easily defeated the Blair girls' tennis team today by a score of 7-0. The loss was the Blazers first of the season and dropped their record to 1-1. Although the Whitman squad was deeper, the top Blazer athletes in the doubles and singles proved to be very competitive with the Viking's stars.

Whitman handed the Blazers five quick defeats at the beginning of the match to seal a team victory. Singles players Seema Kacker and Janice No, playing third and fourth singles respectively, were both handily beaten 6-3, 6-0. The third doubles team of Tiffany Chang and Kiran Belani also lost quickly 6-1, 6-1. Both the second doubles team of Margot Pass and Sarah Wolk and second singles player Pearl Horng had moderately close matches, but Pass and Wolk lost 6-1, 7-6(7-3) while Horng went down 7-6(7-3), 6-1.

The matches of the day came from Blair's top singles player Stephanie Paul and top doubles squad Jahnavi Bhaskar and Dominique Franson. Both of Blair's top teams proved they could match the talent of Whitman's best athletes in a couple of grueling three-set matches.

Bhaskar and Franson showed amazing resilience in coming back from a 6-1 first set defeat to win the second set 4-6. However, in the third set, despite having a brief 2-1 lead, the girls fell 7-5 to lose a hard-fought match.
The most remarkable match of the game came in the marquee showdown between Blair first singles player Stephanie Paul and Whitman's first singles player Abby Stern which lasted an astounding three hours and ten minutes. Stern and Paul attacked hard in the first set as both came out with a lot of energy. Paul recovered from a 3-1 deficit to tie the set at four all, but lost the final two games and the set 6-4. Paul came out gunning in the second set. After losing the first game, Paul ultimately prevailed in a seven-deuce second game that ended on a remarkable rally between the two evenly matched opponents. Paul then went on to go up 5-1 and weathered a late rally from Stern to win the set 6-4. In the final set, however, Paul looked fatigued and had numerous unforced errors, including three double faults, leading to a 6-1 defeat.

Coach David Ngbea said that he knew this match would be a tough one, but thought his team played a relatively close game. "The scores appear to be lopsided, but if you ask the players all the games were deuces, we just didn't win the big points." Ngbea was also impressed by his team's intensity, something he said Blair teams have lacked in the past. "The bottom line was that we were into every single point."

The next match for the Blazers will be Saturday September 18 at Northwood, and the next home match will be September 21 versus Magruder at 3:30 PM.

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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 »

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