Mason Girls Tennis Wins OTCA State Team Title

10/24/2017

The Comets battled to a state championship on Sunday in Reynoldsburg!  It was their programs first ever girls team championship at this event. The number 2 ranked Comets were pitted against the top ranked Blue Streaks of Rocky River Magnificat in the first match of the day.  The 8:15 match started in sunny, but cool conditions.  Things heated up as the doubles team of Kelly Reid and Emma Kruse got the first victory of the day, a 6-0, 6-2 win over the Mags’ Pallaki and Leszcz.

“We knew that our job was to get the first win of the day,” said Kelly, “and put the pressure on Magnicat’s singles players.” Kelly’s sister, senior, Nicole Reid and Sanjana Reddy then earned the Comets their second point with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over the streaks’ Zuber and Klubnik.  

The Comets needed only a win from one of the singles players to seal the victory.  But the Green and White were down on two of the singles courts; Sanjana Reddy was losing 6-1, 5-4 to Olivia Rondini on court three and Ananya Aggarwal was down 6-3, 4-1 to Alexandra Vesikallio on court two.  On the top singles court, Jamie Kim had won her first set against Anna Roggenburk in a tie-break. 

Roggenburk had won the state OHSAA singles tournament the day before, but the freshman, Kim wasn’t intimidated.  After winning the tie-break, Kim raced out to a 5-0 lead in the second set as Aggarwal and Reddy fought to hang on and to mount comebacks against the powerful singles line-up of the Mags.  Momentum shifted and the crowd got louder and louder as the state champion, Roggenburk clawed her way to 5-2, trying to fight her way back in the match. But the cool-headed freshman, Kim was having none of that, and she sealed the 7-6, 6-2 win and her teammates raced to the court to celebrate the victory.  Mason 3, Magnicat 0. 

Beating  #1 ranked Magnificat felt like winning a state championship.  But the Comets still had work to do.  They next faced #3 ranked Dublin Jerome.  Jerome had won two of the last three state championships.  Also, Jerome had won their first match against Toledo Notre Dame relatively easily while the Comets were in a long, exhausting battle with Magnificat. Thinking that Dublin Jerome might change their line-up to strengthen their doubles, Comet coach, Mike Reid countered by inserting Megan Li into the line-up at #3 singles; Reddy moved to #1 doubles with Nicole Reid, and Annie Kruse and Raina Chada played second doubles.  Jerome kept their line-up the same as they had played in the first match.  Advantage Jerome. 

The first point of the day went to Jerome on court one doubles as the team of Sanjana Reddy and Nicole Reid couldn’t find their rhythm against the Jerome’s very strong doubles team Resor and Wang.  After seeing number one doubles lose, the pressure shifted to the number two doubles team of Chada and Kruse. They won their first set easily and then the  freshmen duo hung on to win a see-saw second set and secure the win over Jerome’s N. Dudipala and Zhao 6-0, 7-5. 

With the match knotted at one all, attention again turned to the singles courts.  This time the Comets needed to get victories on two of the three singles courts in order to get the win  and earn their first state championship.  Megan Li had lost her first set in a tie-break.  Aggarwal had won her first set 6-0 and Jamie Kim had earned a victory in her first set against hard-hitting Vickie Chang, 6-1.  From there, the tension rose considerably.  Megan Li was giving it her all, but she fell behind 5-1 in the second.  

Jamie Kim earned the second point of the day when she polished off Chang 6-1, 6-3.  It looked like the match, and the state championship was going to come down to Ananya Aggarwal’s match at #2 singles.  Aggarwal had won her first set 6-0, but she was running out of gas. 

Ananya had finished fourth in the OHSAA state tournament the previous day and her three hour marathon match with state runner-up, Cassie Alcala had left her physically, mentally and emotionally drained.  In addition, Aggarwal had just played one of the state’s best players,  Magnificat’s Alexandra Vesikallio for nearly two hours in another hard-fought battle.  

“I was hitting the wall, for sure, in that second set,” said Aggarwal.  “Coach kept telling me to ‘find another gear’ and to ‘keep hitting’, but I didn’t have much left.” 

But down 5-4, 30 –love, in the second, Aggarwal, not wanting to play another set, found another gear, roared back  and sealed the victory 6-0, 7-5  over Jerome’s Dudipala to win the first state championship for the Comets. See results and details below: 

Semifinal-  Mason defeats Magnificat 3-0

Jamie Kim d. Roggenburk 7-6, 6-2

Vesakillio (Mag) leading Ananya Aggarwal 6-3, 4-1 DNF

Rondini (Mag) leading Sanjana Reddy 6-1, 5-4 DNF

Nicole Reid – Annie Kruse d Zuber-Klubnik 6-3, 6-0

Kelly Reid – Emma Kruse d.  Pallaki-Leszcz 6-0, 6-2 

Final – Mason 3, Dublin Jerome 1

Jamie Kim d. Chang 6-1, 6-3

Aggarwal d. A Dudipala 6-0, 7-5

Liu (Jerome) leading Megan Li 7-6, 5-1 DNF

Resor-Wang (Jerome) d. Nicole Reid and Sanjana Reddy 6-1, 6-2

Annie Kruse – Raina Chada d. N. Dudipala- Zhao 6-2, 7-5

The Mason Girls Tennis Program completed their best season in the history of Comet tennis in 2017. They are young, talented and hungry and will surely be seeking new heights in 2018!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE PLAYERS AND COACHES ON A SEASON TO REMEMBER!

(Photo and article content compliments of Mason Sports Information Director, Dan Hilen)