First published in the Sept. 23 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
Polytechnic’s undefeated varsity girls’ tennis team handily defeated visiting Flintridge Prep, 13-5, in the Prep League opener last Tuesday at Caltech.
The Panthers (7-0 overall record, 1-0 league) won eight of nine singles matches and five of four doubles matches.
“What we’ve been working on and stressing the importance of is…working into the court and coming in to close points,” said Tim Pawley, Poly’s head coach.
Poly’s top singles player, Vanessa Christopoulos, dominated her three sets against Flintridge Prep’s Emily Hsiao, Ruby Kilpatrick and Sophie Haddad by winning each set, 6-0. Poly’s Juliet Lord also swept her three singles sets against Hsiao (6-4), Chloe Liao (6-4) and Haddad (6-1).
“Our singles players were the ones that have continued to control our matches,” Pawley said. “Today we had Vanessa [Christopoulos] and we had Sienna [Lam] and we had Juliet [Lord], and they’re controlling the points very well, sustaining the points, and they are making the other people make mistakes.”
The doubles matches were much more competitive but the Panthers squeezed out a 5-4 advantage. Poly’s Ava Teng and Dylan Lam earned the only sweep in doubles, defeating Flintridge Prep’s Manya Lalwani and Heidi Lin (6-3), Kelsey Lin and Vanessa Hsu (6-0), and Miranda Thomson and Rachel Demerit (6-2).
The Wolves’ No. 1 doubles team, Heidi Lin and Lalwani, played well by taking two of the three sets against Poly’s Ella Wu-Ancipink and Kate Drum (7-6) and Rebecca Cadogan and Julia Lai (6-0).
“Our doubles team [Manya Lalwani and Heidi Lin] were behind and ended up winning,” said Terry Chan, Flintridge Prep’s head coach. “That was a great learning experience. As they came off the court, I always ask them, ‘Give me the goods and the bads,’ and they always tell me what they need to work on and what went well with them.”
The Wolves (3-1 overall, 0-1 in league) recently defeated Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in a nonleague match, 15-3, on Sept. 16.
Meanwhile, the Panthers continued their stellar undefeated streak by beating host San Dimas, 12-6, in a nonleague match on Friday, Sept. 17.