The girls tennis team started their season off strong with victories over Kent and Hamden Hall. The team opened the season with a scrimmage against Hall High School on March 28, beating Hall 5-2.
The girls then focused on their first game against Hamden Hall Country Day School on April 9. The team finished the match with an impressive score of 7-0, with an outstanding three set victory at No. 1 singles by freshman Co-captain Ahana Nagarkatti against a tough opponent. This match also marked the first varsity wins for eighth-grader Aimee Zheng, sophomore Jenna Blocher, sophomore Esha Kataria, freshman Shreeya Chalikonda, and eighth-grader Amrita Natarajan. Senior Co-captain Emma Smith and freshman Sydney Smith were great at doubles and juniors Co-captain Molly Baron and Isabelle Raymond were fantastic in singles.
The team then faced Kent School on April 11 in a tough Founders League match. The girls played well and beat Kent 7-2 in a thrilling game. Nagarkatti and E. Smith earned a well-fought victory in No. 1 doubles with a score of 8-5. Baron and S. Smith teamed up to beat Kent 8-5, in No. 2 doubles. Nagaratti also posted a fantastic victory at no. 1 singles with a score of 8-0. The Wyverns won five of the six singles matches. The Girls then faced Pomfret on April 13 and achieved an impressive win with a score of 5-2.
Head Coach Ronald Garcia said that the team is young and has a lot of new players. The team graduated five strong seniors last year and lost four out of their six starters last year. Natarajan said that the team lacks game experience with their young roster.
E. Smith said that a big change from last year was the loss of a dominant player, Lexi Kubas. “Everybody now has to move up positions on the ladder, but everyone is adjusting well,” she said.
Coach Garcia said that the team’s strengths are their marvelous No. 1 singles player, Nagarkatti and the dynamic doubles duo of the Smith sisters. “The team is very athletic and enthusiastic and can go a long way,” said E. Smith. “We worked hard going into the season.” Nagarkatti added that all the players on the team are really athletic and determined.
Baron said that the team is getting better since they have been practicing for a long time and had winter practice sessions, as well. Nagarkatti said that the goal of the team this year is to improve in every practice and give a good fight against other schools in the Founder’s League.
E. Smith added that she wants to see the team grow and improve and find success through hard work. The team has its eyes set on an undefeated season.
Coach Garcia also has a clear and concise goal for this season. “I want to play Hotchkiss and have that match decide who is going to be the Founder League champions,” he said. The team has a lot of new faces this year. E. Smith said that the freshmen and Middle Schoolers are doing great. She said that they bring a lot of good energy to practice.
Coach Garcia said the new players are adjusting well to the team, considering that there is a huge jump in the level of play and competitiveness. Nagarkatti said that she agrees.“I have a good feeling about this season.”