Girls’ tennis defeats two teams to advance to NCS semifinals

Sophie Epstein

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Junior Christina Canady hits a forehand during last week’s NCS match against Mission San Jose.

The girls’ tennis team’s season ended on a high note as they exceeded expectations in the NCS playoffs.

After beating 11th seed Mission San Jose, sixth-ranked Redwood upset number three James Logan to gain a spot in the NCS semifinals.

“I didn’t expect to win [against James Logan],” said girls’ tennis coach Marlies Zeisler. “I think what happened was the girls all really pulled it together all at the right time. Our number one doubles team showed a huge improvement. I wasn’t expecting to win as strongly as we did.”

 Captain Sophia Hooper, who plays number one singles, said that solid performances in every position contributed to the victory.

“People can get impressed when you tell them you play number one singles, but every match counts the same amount of points, so everybody’s just as important,” said Hooper.

Despite the win over James Logan, Redwood has been facing increasing competition from within the league. Redwood lost to Branson in the MCAL semifinal, and fell to Tam in the NCS semifinal. Hooper said that although she was disappointed by the loss to Branson, the heightened MCAL competition pushed Redwood to improve.

 “Being in a league with teams that are just as good as you, I think it at least motivated the girls,” Hooper said. “Yes, there is pressure, but I think you can get in a really good competitive mindset. Later, somebody might ask you how you were feeling in that moment and you can’t even remember because you were so focused. Girls can push themselves to get to that point.”

 Zeisler said that although Branson had beaten them once during the regular season, Redwood was victorious in its last regular season match.

 “I was disappointed because I thought we had momentum on our side,” she said. “[But] Branson has those top three nationally ranked players, and Tam has an incredibly deep team. It gave us better competition from within the league. Usually we have to travel out of the league to go see a different level of play.”

Hooper, who will be graduating this year, said that she hopes the increasing competition in MCAL tennis will motivate next year’s team.

“I hope the girls next year will remember the level of play,” Hooper said. “It’s really important to play in the offseason, which is hard to get girls to do. But we have some really motivated players, so I think some will.”