The Ridgewood High School’s Girls’ Tennis team has had a very successful season so far. The season is more than halfway over; however, the girls still have many challenging matches and tournaments ahead. Starting this season with an alternated line up, the team has faced new experiences and opportunities to put their abilities to the test. The team has definitely been forced to adjust after losing last years’ seniors, including Monica Vitting, Swathi Ragulan, Sara Canilang, and Selin Tekgurler. However, many players have proved themselves to be capable of replacing these important roles. Two freshmen, Sophia Swanson and Emma Hultqvist, have both earned starting positions on the varsity team. The group has done a great job of adjusting to these changing positions, including both first-year and returning players.
During the weekend of September 26, the girls headed to Demarest and Old Tappan High School to compete in the Bergen County Tournament, where four out of five players qualified for the next round. Senior Elizabeth O’Keefe and her partner Sophia Swanson played first doubles and finished as finalists. Elizabeth, who is this year’s captain, was overall very proud of the group as a whole. She states, “I think the team felt really strong going into counties, and I was really excited to see how we would do. I am so proud of how we did, and I think our success is really evident of how dedicated and talented everyone on the team is.” Junior Alex Absey also was a finalist in the tournament. As a junior, Alex still has time to avenge her loss. Each position faced very talented opponents, but overall the team was extremely happy with how everyone played.
On Monday, October 12, the girls beat Livingston, earning a spot in the New Jersey State tournament. They traveled to Mercer County Park on Thursday, October 15, to compete with some of the best teams in the state. The tournament proved highly competitive, as all the teams have worked extremely hard to make it to the tournament. Furthermore, the tournament was a new experience for the group, since the majority of teams that went were opponents they would not normally play during the regular season.
In hindsight, the Girls varsity clan has demonstrated their immense strength not only as players, but as leaders. Recuperating from the loss of several key players from the graduating class, these girls made it their mission to reinstate the team’s true meaning of community and camaraderie.