By Samantha Morris
Wolverine girls’ tennis teams have had seasons of improvement and success this year. On Oct. 24, the varsity squad defeated Flintridge Sacred Heart 14 matches to 4 in their last league competition, finishing with a league record of 7-1. Their only league loss was an 11-7 defeat by one of their main rivals, Notre Dame HS.
The team competed in their first round of the CIF playoffs on Nov. 2, overcoming Camarillo HS 13-5. The girls then played in their second and third rounds of playoffs on Nov. 4 and Nov. 7 respectively, beating Murrieta Valley and Arcadia. Following this success, they were able to compete again in the playoff semi-finals on Nov. 9, winning 77-73 in games against Corona del Mar. Such success then allowed the girls to compete in the CIF playoff finals on Nov. 11. After a close competition, the Wolverines were defeated 10-8 by Campbell Hall. Although the girls’ goal to win the championships was not realized, they have been extremely successful this season, reaching the finals for only the second time in Wolverine girls’ tennis history.
Not only did they receive second place in their CIF Southern Section Division 1 category, but the squad also qualified to play in the SoCal Regionals, where they beat Fresno Clovis North HS 5-2 on Friday. Advancing from this win, they then played Torrey Pines HS in the regional semi-finals, losing 7-0. The CIF Individual Sectionals occurred on Monday, but the results were not available as of press time.
Several varsity tennis players also recently played in the Mission League individual playoffs, a tournament in which two singles players and two doubles teams represent each school. Jenna Moustafa ‘17 and Jennifer Gadalov ‘19 represented the Wolverines in singles, while the doubles team of Amanda Chan ’19 and Sophia Genender ‘19 played for the school alongside the doubles team of Lara Mikhail ’18 and Maddy Dupee ‘20. These six girls succeeded in this competition, with Moustafa and Gadalov earning first and second in singles and Chan and Genender emerging as champions in doubles. Varsity coach Kristie Gipe, recently named Reigning Daily News Coach of the Year, commented on the season.
“I have a great coaching staff that broadens the relationship with the players. It’s wonderful to have players that are willing to work hard, and yet there is a wonderful sense that there are friendships and that being together is a pleasure. Coaching players that are willing to be coachable is a coach’s dream. We are fortunate to have this on this team,” Gipe said in an email.
Doubles player Sophia Ekstrand ‘20 felt similarly when reflecting on how the season has gone.
“I think we’ve definitely bonded during practices and matches and improved as a team in both singles and doubles,” Ekstrand said.
The J.V. team has also had a successful season. The girls’ final match took place on Oct. 24 against Flintridge Sacred Heart, where they defeated them 14-4. The team finished first in their league with a 6-0 record. They had a