Season Recap: Girls’ Tennis Team Makes Semifinals of Playoffs

Sophie Fleysher, ‘20

This year, the girls tennis team had a very successful season, making it all the way to the semifinals of the playoffs. From the first practice, the team, which consisted of one ninth-grader, three tenth-graders, seven year ones, and four year twos, was filled with excitement. It was quickly instilled in the team that tennis is a mental sport just as much as it is physical, and that attitude stuck for the entirety of the season. Fuschia Steward, 10, says “having a team that understood this concept so well was invaluable and their support pushed me to play my hardest.”

In the regular season, the team went a perfect 12-0; however, not every match was as easy as the record suggests. One particularly difficult match was played by the doubles partnership of Sonia Chajet-Wides, 10th, and Kisura Nuriddin, Y2, against Benjamin Banneker Academy, where the opposing coach commented on the calls made by BHSEC’s players, which is not allowed.

When all was set and done, the girls reached the playoffs, seeded 2nd of 24 teams in the B division, securing a “bye” in the first round. They were ready to play, and keep their remarkable season alive. After the “bye”, they took advantage of their homecourt, and easily defeated Robert F. Kennedy High School in Round 2 and Middle College High School in the Quarterfinals. The semifinals however, proved to be the team’s biggest challenge yet: against 3rd seeded Queens School of Inquiry (QSI). Despite the having the higher seed, the Raptors would be missing one of their best players. It was a match which would put the team’s mental strength to the test.

The ladies arrived at Queens College Outdoor Tennis Courts in high spirits, not letting the seed of their opponent or their missing player phase them. But they faced an even bigger obstacle: the weather. High winds made their typically accurate shots impossible to predict and a bright sun prevented them from seeing the ball, especially when serving.

Unfortunately, this would come between the BHSEC girls and their spot in finals. QSI eliminated the Raptors, and advanced to the finals where they beat Fort Hamilton High School and became the B Division champions.

When reflecting on the team’s season, Alexa David-Lang, 9th, said “although we had lost and were out for the season, it had felt like we won as we laughed and joked” since “we weren’t just a team, we were a sisterhood … who could lean on each other whenever we needed it.”

Regardless of the result, the team was really happy. They were, and still are, proud of what they accomplished this season and are anxiously awaiting warmer weather which would allow them to get out on the courts and prepare for the next season.