By RUTUJA SABNIS
Girls Varsity Tennis lost to Campbell Hall on its CIF semifinal match 4-14 on Wednesday, November 9. Despite the loss, this year’s tennis team has made significant progress from a year ago, having lost to Dana Hills in the CIF quarterfinals. This year, varsity tennis beat its longtime rival Peninsula for the first time since 2011.
“I feel like our team works very well together,” Captain Ashlyn Wang (Sr.) said, “and even though we lost we still gave our heart and played well together.”
This year, Wang and Halla Alajeely (Sr.) ended their final season by winning the Pacific Coast League Doubles Champion title together as partners.
In the Campbell Hall match, all four points contributing to the final score were derived from the doubles players. Wang and Tiffany Markus (Jr.) won two sets, contributing two points. Then Sasha Iraniha (Jr.), the second team captain, and Kayla Agustin (Jr.), the third team captain, won two of their sets and also gained two points for the UHS team.
“As a captain, I really could not have asked for a better day because not only were the girls on the courts playing with so much passion and heart,” Agustin said, “but the girls who weren’t playing came with a ton of enthusiasm and their cheering was insane. All of the girls, on and off the court, really showed how unified we were as a team and that unity made the day phenomenal.”
“I was really proud of our team,” Coach John Kessler (Athletic Dept.) said. “The girls fought hard and played great tennis. No one thought we would come this far.”
In all of Orange County, UHS Girls Tennis placed second behind Corona del Mar, meeting UHS’s expectation to be the best tennis team in Irvine.
“Now that season is coming to a close, I am extremely sad about not having anymore team practices or matches,” Agustin said.“Even though it is saddening, I am still very happy because the way our season ended was amazing, and I could not have asked for a better group of girls to have at my side.”
This Friday, November 18, Girls Varsity Tennis is playing in the CIF USTA SoCal Championship at the Claremont Club. Eight schools in the CIF Southern section of California will compete for the Regional Champion title.