Girls Tennis Team Dominates Once Again
Sophie Fleysher, ‘20
The BHSEC girls tennis team has had yet another stellar season. This year, the 17 athletes, consisting of 10 veterans, committed to two months of an intense match and practice schedule led by Coach Studwell (who you may know as Ms. Goldstein). Though they had a fluctuating lineup for the first two weeks of play, the Raptors were able to maintain their undefeated streak for the third regular season in a row. The ladies faced an all-new division this year, playing teams that they had never met before. While this could have been a major disadvantage, since the two previous years had been the same, many things worked out in their favor. One of their opponents, the High School of Economics and Finance, has the same home courts in East River Park as they do, meaning that the BHSEC girls had home court advantage in more than half of their matches. They also played against Seward Park Campus, whose courts are only a fifteen minute walk away from the school. These two factors combined meant that the team didn’t have to worry about long commutes to or from matches, minimizing stress levels. It also allowed for the largest turnout of supporters in years from friends, families of players, and even of Coach Studwell. Additionally, they were spoiled with great weather for the entirety of the season (excluding one week of both rain and extreme heat).
Some highlights thus far include Sophie Fleysher’s, Y2, comeback 3rd singles victory against Seward Park, winning the last four straight games, as well as Sonia Chajet-Wides’, Y1, fantastic 6-0, 6-1 debut singles win against Louis Brandeis. This season, the team was fortunate enough to have opponents who expressed good sportsmanship, unlike in previous years. As a result, everyone enjoyed playing every match and did so to the best of their abilities.
This is not to say that they didn’t face obstacles. Some courts are not in as good condition as East River Park’s, where the Raptors call home. Most notably, Elizabeth Bitman, Y2, faced blaring sun in each one of her serves against Brandeis and was forced to serve with her eyes shut. But she adapted and overcame, and shortly her shots returned to being her typical accurate and powerful ones, an incredible feat.
The student-athletes have since moved on to playoffs, seeded 3rd out of the 25 qualifying teams in their division. Because of their high seed, they are granted a first-round “bye,” a chance to recuperate and have one more practice, before playing a second-round match against the winner of FDR vs. Hillcrest at home.
They must win 3 matches in order to make it into the finals, but the team is not thinking about that yet. Like Coach Studwell constantly reminds them, they have to take it point-by-point, game-by-game, and match-by-match in order to get that far. But given the momentum that they’ve built up, the coach and all the players know that they will put everything they have into however many matches are left in their season.
For updates on the team’s successes, check out psal.org.