Despite varied results in tournament play for girls tennis this season, the team still has a winning record of 11–3. It placed second overall in the Mercer County Tournament, but lost in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
Co-Captain Nikhita Salgame ’16 characterized the team’s performance during the MCT as strong, especially during the first round. “The first round of states, we won 4–1, so that was great,” Salgame said. “We played Red Bank Regional [High School] and they were [a] pretty decent [competitor].”
In the final round of the tournament Salgame and her doubles partner Rachel Kleiman ’16 beat their opponents from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, clinching the first place doubles title for the county.
The team exceeded the tournament’s expectations by placing second overall in the county. “We were supposed to only come in fifth or sixth in county’s [according to the county seeding process],” said first doubles player and Co-Captain Gillian Samios ’16. “I think it really shows that even though we lost a lot of really solid varsity players last year who graduated, our hard work is really paying off.”
The state tournament proved to be a tougher feat for the team, which was eliminated in the second round. “Unfortunately this year we were still put into Group 3, but the North Jersey division,” Salgame said. “They restructured it so basically the six best teams in the state were also in our division this year, so we played South the second round of states and we lost … before even reaching sectionals.”
Despite the final results, Head Coach Sarah Hibbert was pleased with the team’s overall performance. “We had a good showing and we were competitive,” Hibbert said. “First doubles … Rachel and Nikhita won county’s there and were able to repeat at the South match [during States] so that was great for them.”
Now that tournament play is behind them, players look forward to getting back into regular season matches. “I think it’s actually a good thing that MCTs and States are so early [in the season],” Salgame said. “We have easier matches in the beginning of the season … then MCTs … has us pushing really hard right at the beginning of the season to prepare for the state tournament and for our harder matches at the end.”
Among the harder matches after tournament play was the team’s match against North on October 15. First doubles, second doubles, and third singles beat out their North opponents, bringing the final score to 3–2. Hibbert anticipates getting more opportunities to play rivals again. “We’re looking forward to the rest of the season,” Hibbert said. “We still have a lot of division matches—North twice, South again, Hopewell [Valley Central High School]—and we have a lot of strong rivals left. We’re just looking to finish out our season as strong as we possibly can.”