This afternoon, the girls’ tennis team put a satisfying cap on the fall season with a 3-2 victory over Portledge in the PSAA Championship on the Panthers’ home courts. It was a satisfying return to the top for the Bears who took the 2018 title before losing the 2019 championship to Staten Island in a 2-3 heartbreaker.
The Bears had to shuffle their lineup due to the absence of Alanna Wu, who was undefeated at 2nd singles this season. Carina Cristobal (6-0, 6-0) turned in a customary dominant performance at 1st singles while Isabel Guo stepped into Wu’s vacated 2nd singles spot to win 6-4, 6-0. After Portledge took 3rd singles and 2nd doubles, dropping just two combined games in the process, the championship came down to the 1st doubles match.
Caroline Helmer and Sam Cox fell behind early, but battled back to take a 5-4 lead in the first set. They continued to lead 6-5 when they broke Portledge’s serve to take the first set, 7-5. In the second set, both teams held serve in the opening three games as the Panthers took a 2-1 lead. From there, the Bears won five straight games to take the set, 6-2. In game four, Helmer and Cox came back from trailing 15-30 to even the set at 2-2. The turning point came in game five when they built a 40-love lead before breaking to take control of the match at 3-2. They held serve in games six and eight and broke Portledge again in game seven to claim the match and the championship.