By ASHNA VARMA, sophomore
THE LADY HAWKS varsity girls tennis team continues to prevail with an impressive finish to the 2019 season. The team, made up largely of returning players from last year, has once again proven its dominance on
their court by ending with an overall record of 19-4 and placing an impressive second in the GMC tournament.
With 31 years of coaching experience, Coach Ellen Pisano was “excited for another competitive year with the core of the team back for the season.” Led by senior captains Vatsala Bahal, Anesha Santhanam, and Avani
Sharma, the team developed a strong sense of unity at the start of the season, which has allowed them to work well together when
faced with intense competition. The tightknit group of girls stuck with each other when faced with adversity, and it showed on the court. The season’s results would not have been possible without the team’s three captains’ leadership and hard work, which helped them dominate the challenges of this season.
The Lady Hawks repeatedly demonstrated their teamwork throughout the season, working together to clinch each victory. During GMCs, the team faced familiar rivals, including Monroe and Old Bridge, but were able to persist until the end, claiming second place. This tremendous feat was the
hard-earned product of the team’s flexibility and cohesive strategy of learning from past matches. While the Lady Hawks had consistently claimed the GMC title in the last three years, rival team East Brunswick had new talented freshmen in their line up this year that they were not expecting. Nevertheless, the team performed well when put under the pressure of each match. First singles Lauren Sun (10), second singles Emily Hsieh (9), third singles Shriya Upadhyay (10), first doubles Vatsala Bahal (12) and Shubhi Upadhyay (10), and second doubles Aneesha Santhanam (12) and Harini Kannan (11) all managed to place fourth or higher in their specific positions.
The girls in green and gold remained resilient and were prepared to compete in GMCs in mid-October. The team made a tremendous effort to defeat their rivals and were able to make it to the semifinals. In the state semifinals, sophomore Shriya Upadhyay won it for the team in a thrilling
three-set win. Shriya reveals that despite more difficult matches this season, the team is constantly improving, and it was the “overall team energy” that allowed them to persevere. The season’s results would not have been possible without the leadership and hard work exemplified through the
team’s three captains, who helped them overcome the challenges and adversities of this season.
The past season has been one of learning; together, the team has been able to refine their playing skills and train towards higher goals. Showing their potential since the beginning of the season, the girls were able to prove themselves through their exceptional record and high rankings. With more than half the team comprised of underclassmen, the girls know that they will only continue to achieve more in future seasons.