Girls Tennis: Senior Night a smash of success, MVHS defeats Los Altos 5-2

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Elliot Ki

Win, festivities highlight home final.

Senior Jenna McGuirk follows through on a return during the senior night match against Los Altos High School on Oct.29.Despite the loss in her game the team finished with a 5-2 victory.
Senior Jenna McGuirk follows through on a return during the senior night match against Los Altos High School on Oct.29.Despite the loss in her game the team finished with a 5-2 victory.

On senior night, the last home game of the regular season for girls tennis, players were joking with each other and chasing each other with cupcake frosting in food fights. But this carefree, jubilant attitude had to be put in the backseat momentarily as game time neared. With their usual fierce determination and focus, the Lady Mats made sure it would be a night the seniors would never forget, taking care of business against Los Altos High School with a convincing 5-2 win on Oct. 29. The last home game gave seniors some time to reflect on their MVHS tennis experience, and the rest of the team displayed their appreciation for all the time and effort they had put in.

“Senior Night is a once-in-a lifetime experience,” said co-captain senior Claudia Kesala. “It’s a magical moment, win or lose.”

MVHS’s play on the court contributed to the festive mood with its dominating victory to compliment the festivities of Senior Night. A decoration of colorful posters crowded the fence bordering the tennis courts, with posters saying, “Werk, McGuirk, Werk,” and “Lets go Cloudia!” Head coach Gene Fortino presented all the seniors with a bouquet of flowers as a thank you for all the dedication they provided throughout the years.

The actual match featured a sweep for MVHS in all doubles matches and a 2-2 split for singles. Co-captain senior Kelsey Chong had little trouble defeating her opponent, cruising to a 6-0, 6-1 win. Senior Jenna McGurik appeared anxious during her match, leading to a few serves that were too powerful or off the mark. Her opponent LAHS senior Kacy Incerpi took advantage of these unforced errors as McGurik fell in straight sets, 1-6, 2-6.

The Lady Mats were formidable in doubles play, with no tandem losing a set. Junior Katherine Guo and sophomore Anuskha Tyagi communicated flawlessly with striking precision and made every serve, return and volley count. Inspired to have the seniors go out on a winning note, the duo emerged victorious 6-0, 6-2.

Senior Night provided seniors an opportunity to reflect on their high school tennis careers.

“Before, I was playing in tournaments for my own national ranking; playing for high school was a nice change because of the interactions and how closely we bonded together.” co-captain senior Kelsey Chong said.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for MVHS, as they have had to deal with injuries to top singles players, and a loss of some talent with key players graduating or moving at the end of the prior season. Still, the team has cleared these hurdles and has had a successful season.

“It’s been a battle for us, but we’ve really persevered and continued to play at a high level,” Fortino said.

The Lady Mats trail Saratoga in the league standings by one game, so the team needs the Falcons to drop one game to force a one-game playoff, and if Saratoga loses both their remaining games, MVHS will become champions. Two Saratoga wins will give the Falcons the SCVAL title.

As Kesala gazed out at her teammates, recalling all the moments she has spent with them, she finally broke her reverie.

“They’re my family,” she said. “I wish I could preserve this moment in time, it’s just special.”