The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Girls Tennis Recap

The team poses after the state championship. Photo courtesy of Jen Hsia

On Nov. 20, the varsity girls tennis clinched a spot in the inaugural CIF State Championship with a 4-3 win against Monta Vista. Unfortunately, the team lost to Southern California powerhouse Mater Dei 7-0 in the final.

Going into the season, the team was uncertain about how they would perform. “More than half of the team was brand new, and most of them were freshmen,” head varsity tennis coach Bill Shine said. “I had no idea where anybody was going to play on the ladder, except our top two.” Junior Andra Braicu and sophomore Elise Chen had played No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively, the year before.

While the team finished with a 24-7 record, six out of their seven losses occurred in the first 15 matches of the season. “In the beginning part of the season, we had a tough time because we had a really hard schedule,” Shine said. His decision to play difficult teams was intentional because he believed that would help the team improve the most. “When you play really good teams, they show you what you need to work on.”

Shine’s tough schedule paid off in league play. Going into the postseason, the Knights finished at 1st place in the West Bay Athletic League and 3rd in CCS. After beating Monta Vista 5-2 in the CCS final, the two teams met again in the NorCal final.

The NorCal final was no simple feat. Many members of the team struggled in their first set and six out of the seven matches went to a third set. Thankfully, the team pulled through in the end. “I was really happy because we won it for our coach, Bill, because he’s retiring this year,” freshman Sophia Jia said.

Heading into the state final, the team was nervous because they were missing two of their starters: Braicu and sophomore Sulia Gayle, who plays No. 1 doubles. Ultimately, despite their defeat, Chen believes the teams were competitive with one another. “Even though the score doesn’t really say it, I feel like the matches were close.”

Shine attributes the team’s improvement throughout the season to their hard work. “From the beginning of the season to the end is definitely the most improved team I think I’ve ever coached,” Shine said. “That’s a tribute to their hard work and their determination during matches to do their best.”

While Shine will not return to coach next year, he appreciates the time he had this past season. “It was really fun to be a part of.”

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About the Contributor
Devon Schaefer, Sports Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: sharing fascinating stories with the Menlo community

Interests outside of school: lacrosse, soccer, cooking, reading

Class of 2025

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