Bearing News

Girls’ tennis secures fifth state championship in a row

The girls’ tennis team played both team and individual state championships, Oct. 18 and 20 respectively. The Bruins came out on top, achieving a  team state championship title, making it their fifth in a row. Furthermore, junior Corinne Farid was the individual state champion, while senior Eleanor Fay and junior Mary Frances Hose placed third in the state doubles tournament.

“We were definitely nervous. Being the defending champions there’s always that thought of what if we lose,” Fay said. “But I think we did a really good job of also maintaining our confidence that we had going from Districts and Sectionals. We knew that we were going to have to work for it, but we also had good faith in our abilities.”

Starting the state championships Oct. 18, the Bruins took on Lee’s Summit West High School. First Farid and Fay (8-2), and Hose and freshman Maggie Lin (8-2) won their doubles matches setting RBHS in the lead [2-0]. Next, senior Abby Still and freshman Anjali Ramesh lost [2-1].  

Despite the setback, Fay set the Bruins back on track by winning her singles match (6-1), (6-2), [3-1]. Continuing the streak, Hose beat her opponent in singles, (6-2), (6-0), [4-1]. Lastly, Lin won her set (6-1),(6-1) securing the Bruins team state championship title [5-1].

“There is a great sense of accomplishment and feeling of pride to do what we have done,” Head coach Ben Loeb said. “I think it is very unlikely a public school will ever do this again.”

The impressive five in a row RBHS win was not without challenge. Fay said the team had to fight hard for every point and the match itself was intense.

“We were constantly cheering for each other to keep up our motivation,” Fay said. “We felt great after winning though, it’s amazing to know that it was our fifth state championship in a row. We had a great season and to be able to end it like that is just incredible.”

Preparing for this competition had both mental and physical aspects. Going into state, Still said the team knew this year’s state was going to be harder than the past ones since the opponents were talented.

“Coach Loeb focuses a lot on the mental aspect of tennis, which I think translates into our match play. After most practices we would do a sports psychology worksheet, often about handling adversity, or mental toughness,” Still said. “We also began to really hone in on the specific things each player needed to work on in the post season to guarantee our success at State. Coach Loeb worked a lot with me on making sure my groundstrokes were solid and hit with conviction.”

At practices Loeb said the Bruins was focused on singles and doubles competition. For doubles he said the team worked on transition with the better players as well as being active at the net. Returning serves was also another area addressed.

“The mindset was to focus on embracing the competition,” Loeb said. “The mindset was to focus on what we needed to do to excel rather than to avoid failure.”

 

What do you think of the fifth state championship win? Let us know in the comments below!

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2 comments

Anjali November 19, 2018 at 9:26 am

I was on the tennis team and it was great to have this covered! Being a freshman, I really thought it was an incredible achievement to be part of. I also thought that you tracked the way we keep score in tennis really well because it is a little complicated, and I appreciate you doing it right!

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Elliot B October 28, 2018 at 5:09 pm

Wow! Really says something about the coach when you win that many championships and are that consistent of a program. Just amazing.

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