Girls’ tennis becomes first to win county championship four years in a row

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Alex Klugerman

The Super Bowl, the NBA Championship, the Final Four and the College Football Playoffs: Most athletes can only dream about winning such coveted sporting events in their lifetime.
For the girls in high school tennis in the state of Maryland, their Final Four, their Super Bowl, is the county championship. In such a competitive tennis county like this one, winning one is near impossible. Winning four straight is practically unattainable.
On Oct. 19, however, that changed. The girls’ tennis team won their fourth consecutive county championship, making them the first team to do so in the history of girls’ high school tennis in the state.
The championships were held over a span of four days, from Oct. 17 through Oct. 20. Over the four days, the quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals for each team slot was played. The team had girls in every slot, and coming in at the number two seed after Whitman, the girls were fired up and ready to go. “That pre-match adrenaline rush never really goes away,” senior doubles player Georgia Bartels-Newton said. “This is my fourth county’s appearance and I still get that jumpy feeling. It really drives me to play my best tennis.”
The team lost both second and third doubles matches early on, allowing them a small margin of error for the rest of the tournament. Each team gets a certain number of points for how far each singles player or doubles team gets, so the early losses really put the pressure on.
Bartels-Newton, along with her partner senior Gabi Glueck, won the one doubles match in straight sets 6-4, 6-0 over Whitman, making them the best team in the county. Whitman handed the team their only loss in the regular season, and went undefeated themselves. “It felt really good to put it on them,” Bartels-Newton said. “They are a good team and really brought out the best in us in the regular season and counties.”
Among the other matches played, senior Ruchi Nanda tore through the two singles bracket, winning the county for that spot in straight sets 7-6, 6-1. Sophomore Angela Wu also proved dominant as she won the county for the four singles, winning the finals 6-1, 6-0.
Senior singles player Miranda Deng cruised through the first couple of rounds into the finals on the final day. Though undefeated on the season, Deng lost steam in the finals, and ended up losing in a close match. Deng still qualified for regionals and is a threat to go deep into the state championship later this month. “I’m definitely not letting my loss get my spirit down,” Deng said. “I’m still very confident in my ability and have to move past the loss and look forward to the next round.”
Even with Deng’s loss, the girls still managed 19 points in total for the tournament, four more than second place Whitman, who had 15.
The girls will be losing five seniors for next year, Bartels-Newton, Deng, Nanda, Gluek and Kathy Lin. “There are so many talented girls, and I know they will be able to pick up the slack,” Deng said.
The team will look to resume their winning ways next fall.

 

Charlie Eichberg

Editor-in-Chief