Girls tennis team beats Newton North to advance to sectional semi finals

Girls tennis team beats Newton North to advance to sectional semi finals

On Tuesday, June 9, the undefeated girls varsity tennis earned an exciting 4-1 victory Newton North in the sectional quarterfinal, advancing to the semi finals.

Going into the competition, the team was undefeated, and needed to win 3 out of their 5 matches in order to advance to the semi finals. Coached by Bruce Mallory and Mary Minot, the team was confident going into the quarterfinals, having beaten Newton North 4-1 just weeks earlier.

However, as the afternoon developed, Brookline found themselves in a tighter contest than they had initially predicted.

In first doubles, the experienced duo of junior Carrie Tucker and senior Mei Kasif, lost their first two sets 0-6, 4-6, putting Brookline in a 0-1 hole.

Fortunately for Brookline, their top two players maintained their high level of play. In first singles, the top-ranked freshman Sonya Khudyakov pulled away 7-5, 6-1, and for second singles, senior Rachel Hechinger dominated 6-2, 6-0. While Khudyakov had fallen behind early, she quickly regained her composure and  pulled away with the victory.

“The first set was a struggle,” Khudyakov said. “I wasn’t focused at all. There were so many people watching, and I was just out of it. I didn’t enjoy the match, but I won so I have to take it.”

Leading 2-1, Brookline needed to win either their third singles, played by sophomore Ndanu Mutisiaf, or their second doubles.

Possibly the most exciting match of the competition was second doubles, where junior Clasby Chope and senior Allie Greenberg just barely won their second set. Chope, who replaced the injured sophomore Emily Ribatt, was Greenberg’s double’s partner last year as well, and made several key plays down the stretch to pull away with the win.

“That was a scary moment,” Khudyakov said. “I was jumping, I was very nervous. Many people had match points. It was very emotional.”

The team will face off Barnstable in the next round of the playoffs and are hoping to replicate their success against the Tigers.  Their next match will be played at Waldstein Park on Thursday at 3 p.m.

 

Noa Dalzell can be contacted at [email protected]