Girls' Tennis - The Road to a Championship Season - Kingswood Oxford

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May 29, 2024

Girls’ Tennis – The Road to a Championship Season

The girls’ tennis team has clinched the New England Prep School Athletic C (NEPSAC) Championship Class B title, marking their first victory since 2016. This remarkable achievement is a testament to the team’s hard work and dedication and a significant milestone for the school and its students.

 

The road to victory was unexpected yet thrilling. Last season, the team boasted an impressive 15-2 record but lost four of its six starters to graduation. Rebuilding the team posed a challenge, but the influx of five talented freshmen played a crucial role in filling the gaps. Coach Ron Garcia expressed surprise and delight at the young players’ rapid improvement throughout the season, culminating in their championship win.

 

Noor Sayej, a freshman who emerged as the team’s top seed, is at the forefront of this success. Sayej had an undefeated season, playing number one singles, and was recognized as the best player in the Founders League. Her exceptional performance earned her the title of Player of the Year by NEPSAC for Class B.

 

The team also benefited from the leadership of their senior captain, Loretta Szych, who played number two singles and teamed up with Sayej in doubles. Szych’s experience and skill were instrumental in guiding the young team to victory. Alongside her, Alex Doring, a sophomore and the team’s number three singles player, brought energy and enthusiasm, forming a “fun, crazy bunch” with the freshmen, according to Coach Garcia.

“When the team wins when they are young, they enjoy it so much that they really work hard trying to get that championship again,” Coach Ron Garcia said. “ It’s great to give them that taste of success as a freshman. Just think about all the years we have moving forward where we will be contenders for a long time!”

 

The journey to the championship was not without its challenges. The team’s toughest match came in the quarterfinals against Berkshire, where they secured a 5-2 victory despite some closely contested games. They went on to defeat Pingree in the semifinals and St. George’s in the final, who entered the match with an 8-4 record. The team’s overall record for the season was an impressive 13-3.

 

One of the most inspiring stories of the season was Aashni Patel, a senior and three-sport athlete who only picked up tennis last year (not accounting for the times she played with her dad in the summer). This year was the first time she had ever played a match in singles. Despite never taking a tennis lesson, Patel played number four singles and performed exceptionally well, defeating numerous opponents. Her athletic prowess and competitive spirit were evident as she improved week by week, making a significant impact on the team’s success. “She was just so fast and athletic that she would keep the ball in and run every ball down,” Coach Garcia said. “She was tough to beat because she was so consistent.”

 

The coach expressed immense pride and joy in seeing both the seniors leave on a high note and the freshmen start their high school careers with such an achievement.

 

In addition to Noor’s Player of the Year award, several team members received individual honors. Noor, Loretta, and Alex were named to the All-NEPSAC team, while Noor and Loretta also earned All-Founders League honors. 

 

The recent championship win has set a high bar, and with such a talented and motivated group of players, the future of the girls tennis team looks incredibly bright.

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KO and a Cup of Joe – Thursday Mornings throughout the Summer

Join us for a brief information session to learn about the academic and co-curricular offerings at Kingswood Oxford School during the summer: June 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, August 1, and 8 at 8:30 a.m. in Roberts Building’s lower lobby. For more information, contact our Admissions Office at (860) 727-5000. What a Difference a Day Makes!