Girls Tennis: 2011 CCS champions by narrow win


Rachel Lu

The 2011 girls tennis team and their coach Gene Fortino pose with their CCS Champion medals and trophy. Used with permission of Ray Chong.

The game hit a stalemate with MVHS and Saratoga tied 9-9 in the total team score count. The final score had to come down to the individual games played in each set, pushing MVHS over Saratoga by a tally of 79-73 in the November 16 CCS Championships. It took four hours of the toughest competition in the league before the girls finally triumphed.The two teams had already met once, both times with MVHS coming out on top 4-3. With this success also came more pressure to win CCS.

“We’re undefeated this season, so we don’t want to lose here. That would be bad,” junior Tiffany Lian said.

Sophomore Kelsey Chong and junior Ruri Kobayakawa continued as a strong doubles team, winning all three sets of their sets 6-3, 6-0 and 6-2 respectively. The other two doubles pairs, sophomore Shwetha Bharadwaj and freshman Angella Qian, and sophomore Sabrina Mui and freshman Nicole Stomakhin, struggled, but still ended up with a few wins to add to the total team score.

Much of the team lineup for both doubles and singles had been switched from the last CCS game. Junior Wendy Kong and junior Jody Law switched with each other, now with Kong as singles two and Law as singles one corresponding to singles one and two of SHS’s lineup. According to Kong, the purpose was to wear out SHS’s number two singles player in time for Law to play her.

By her second game, Law was tired as she struggled to keep up with her opponent. Both players sent the ball to the baseline, forcing each other to run to the end of the court and hit the ball as hard as possible just to make it over the net and into the other court. The competition was so close that despite the exhausting strategy to wear the other player out, Law was able to keep the rally going. Despite the effort, Law lost in the end 6-3. At this point about mid-way through the game, SHS and MVHS were tied at a total score of 6-6.

As one player lost, another would win, keeping the total team score neck and neck throughout the entire day. After a particularly hard loss or a botched hit, shouts of frustration could be heard from the courts as the pressure mounted. Through all the sweat, cheers, and occasional tears, the girls fought their way out to claim the championship title.

“It’s [winning] like revenge since they beat us in CCS last year,” sophomore Sabrina Mui said.

The girls had little more to say than feeling “great,” though excitement and joy could be sensed as the girls turned to one another to talk and share laughs.

“It’s a young team. When you’re that young and you’re facing two-time CCS champions, I’m just so proud of them. We knew it was going to really tough with them [SHS].” said coach Gene Fortino.

The final result came out to a tie 9-9, so the CCS umpires had to count the individual games within each set to determine the winner: MVHS by a score of 79-73. Ahead by only six games, they were able to edge past the defending CCS champions adding the last perfect touch to their perfect season.