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By TRISTAN MALHOTRA
After losing against the two highly-ranked teams Corona Del Mar High School (CDM) and Peninsula High School (PHS), Girls Tennis responded with a resounding victory over Irvine High School (IHS) on Senior Day.
The Trojans faced CDM, ranked first in the county, fresh off of a tough loss to Northwood High School (NHS). CDM had previously beaten the Trojans and did so once again, this time 6-12. Despite ultimately losing the season series against CDM, UHS found bright spots in the match.
Michelle Maddox (Sr.) and Ashlyn Wang (Jr.) ended up playing against one of CDM’s top singles players, who were moved to number one doubles.
“It was really cool to see how she started the match overconfident but by the end she was getting nervous against us,” Maddox said. “We ended up losing that game in a tiebreak, 6-7, but I loved challenging one of their top players.”
The very next day, the Trojans traveled to PHS to face a team that they had, in previous years, faced in the finals of the CIF Championships. Going into the third round, the two teams were tied 6-6. UHS fought hard as the underdog, but ultimately came up short with a 7-11 loss.
Maddox again found a silver lining, stating that this was the best the team has played against Peninsula in as long as she can remember.
After three straight losses, the Trojans came into their match against IHS hungry for a win. Since it was Senior Day, seniors had priority to play in the match; they capitalized on this opportunity, shutting out IHS to emerge with a dominant 18-0 victory in their final home match of the regular season.
Reflecting on her Senior Day performance and her memories of Trojan tennis, Reeyah Chopra (Sr.) said, “We wanted to have fun and end the season on a happy note but sweeping both sets was an added bonus. [Tennis] definitely has been a huge commitment but I have gained a second family out of it, both my teammates and Coach Kessler.”
Maddox called the match the most bittersweet moment of her life. “It hit me that that might have been my last match ever on our courts,” she said. “I wanted to cry but I had the biggest smile on my face the entire time. The memories I’ve made through tennis at UNI are just so special.”