Women's Tennis Season Summary
As another season goes by at the Chabot Racquet Club, it is only necessary that I, the team’s renowned greatest fan, Adam S., present to you the 2022 Women’s Tennis Season Summary.
Sonam M. ‘23
Coach: Wendell Pierce
Coach: Chris Martin
*player ladder according to its general state at the end of the season
1 singles - Sonam M. ‘23
2 singles - Angela W. ‘24
3 singles - Natalie G. ‘24
4 singles - Sophia B. ‘26
1 doubles - Adele B. ‘24, Leah L ‘25
2 doubles - Ruoxi (Lexi) Z. ‘25, Olivia H ‘23
3 doubles - Makeda F. ‘25, Gia C ‘26
Angelina P. ‘24
Miriam (Mimi) C. ‘24
Aanya S. ‘25
Daphne G. ‘26
Hana A. ‘26
Irene M. ‘26
Overall Record: 14-8 (according to MaxPreps)
In-League (excluding playoffs): 9-1
Rivalry Record: 3-2
9/7: Home vs. Head Royce W (4-3)
9/16: Away vs. Head Royce L (4-3)
9/23: Away vs. Athenian W (6-1)
10/18: Away vs. Athenian W (5-2)
11/4: Away vs. Head Royce L (4-3) - BCL Championships
BCL Playoffs Results (Individual): Natalie Goldberg and Sophia Bitton DOUBLES CHAMPIONS
BCL Playoffs Results (Team): Runner-ups
Semifinals: Home vs. Athenian W (by forfeit)
Finals: Away vs. Head Royce L (4-3)
NCS Playoffs Results: Quarterfinalists
1st Round: Home vs. Cardinal Newman W (6-1)
Quarterfinals: Away vs. University L (5-2)
The stakes were high for this 2022 Cougar tennis season.
Coming off of a covid-effected season in 2020, the Cougars, led by Class of ‘22 seniors Nato Y., Claire B., and Kalia L., won the BCL tennis championship match and beat the Jayhawks’ powerhouse tennis program at an end-of-season thriller—capped on center court with the match of the century between Nato Y. and Izzy S. Nato won 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. But the Cougars' success in 2021 did not end at BCLs, and indeed they would go on to knock off a Piedmont High tennis team against all odds in NCS playoffs. Success was sweet.
As a result of the 2021 success, there was pressure on the Cougars this year to match the high level of play of the prior season. Talking to my fellow sophomore classmate Leah L. in the offseason, there were internal questions about the team's 2022 roster.
"We better get some good freshmen" was along the lines of what Leah stated.
Sophia B., Daphne G., and Gia C. are names that will be ingrained in College Prep women’s varsity tennis history books for years to come. Sophia has a strong forehand finish and a state of poise on the court that is rare among freshman athletes. I remember watching her for the first time at an early regular season match.
"She’s so, so good," Makeda whispered to me as we both admired her talent.
Sophia B. ‘26
Sophia played singles throughout her first season in a Cougar uniform and teamed with junior Natalie G. to win the doubles championship at the individual BCL championships.
Daphne and Gia were also key players throughout the season for the Cougars and were especially quick to mesh with the team chemistry of the group. Daphne and Gia played together in 3 doubles in the final NCS match of the season.
However, as is true with any successful team, the collectiveness of this team truly brought the team season-long success. While the pesky, fresh determination of the freshmen was key to the team filling roster gaps from last year, the calmness, and experience of the sophomores, juniors, and seniors were just as key. This team wouldn’t have been the same without Sonam M., with her bubbly personality and speed on the court… Olivia H., always amped up and spirited… Angela W.’s tear-bringing passion… Natalie’s blazing forehand finishes… Leah L.’s never-ending energy and determination (if you go to a women’s tennis match, it will be minutes until you hear Leah scream across the court, "HERE WE GO, BEAMER")... Adele B.’s composure… or Makeda F.'s even-keel charm.
With this group of players, the Cougars did manage to live up to the standards that the 2021 team set for the program… rallying to return to BCL Finals against their top rivals Head Royce.
I was present at BCL Finals. I made my way straight from a doctor’s appointment down to the courts at Head Royce to watch championship tennis. Unfortunately, I was the only fan (don’t sleep on Prep tennis next year folks!), but the atmosphere was still incredible. The whole team watched the matches from start to finish, taking an early dismissal at 2 and staying till the sun went down at 5:30. Even those who didn’t play were involved in the action, with their lively cheers echoing throughout HRS.
When I arrived, it was 1-0 in sets in favor of Head Royce. But I could tell how locked in the Cougars were. Sophomores Leah and Aanya talked to me all week about the key doubles matchup featuring rivals Lead and Darya M. of Head Royce.
"I can’t lose," Leah told me in math class the Tuesday before the match. "I have to take her down."
Leah was locked in—finals Michael Jordan, super bowl Tom Brady type of energy. I immediately knew that there was no chance she would lose. Minutes after I started watching, the win had been secured.
"This is literally the happiest I’ve ever been in my life," states Leah.
It was now 1-1 in sets.
In a tough turn of events, the pair of Olivia and Lexi lost a tight third-set match giving Head Royce the edge once again.
However, Adele, elevated to the four-singles slot because of a game-time shuffle of matchups, rose to the occasion and won a long, hard-fought match on the far court.
"I’m so tired," Adele gasped mid-match. "These rallies are so long."
Adele played a match of slow, high-hit forehands, with long, 20-hit rallies which had both Adele and her opponent running all over the court. But Adele prevailed victoriously, and Prep's cries of joy spread like wildfire across the three courts. 2-2.
Now the stakes were as high as ever. If you're a Warriors fan, think back to the finals over the summer—the stakes were just as high in these final three matches. 2-2 in sets, three matches to play, three courts, and a championship on the line.
Natalie G. feels that when people cheer for her, it stresses her out. However, there was nothing that was going to get in Natalie's way of winning this match. When Natalie gets a hold of a forehand, there really is no stopping her, with the ball blistering by at speeds not often seen at the high school tennis level. It's really no wonder she won the doubles title. Natalie puts Prep ahead: 3-2.
This team was so close to defending their BCL title—so close to bringing home the trophy. One more set to go…
But while Angela W. and Sonam M. fought to the end, returning on Sunday to finish their matches after darkness stopped play on Saturday, they couldn't pull out the victory in the end.
Head Royce took home the title but could not take away from the season's success. The Cougars were still "winners in their hearts," as they would announce on their Instagram later that evening, and as together as they ever had been.
Adele B. ‘24 (left) and Leah L. ‘25 (right)
After play stopped at Head Royce on Thursday night, I caught a ride home with the team. "I Just Wanna Rock" by Lil Uzi Vert blared on the speakers as we hopped on the Warren Freeway to return home.
"Ah, ah, ah, ah. I just wanna rock, body-ody-yah," sings Uzi.
To those who know the tennis team closely, it is well known that this song is a go-to for senior captain Sonam M.. Although this may make me sound like a College Prep English teacher, this song truly does relate to the never-ending hype and spirit that this team embodied—always hyped, always ready for the challenge ahead.
This year Prep women's tennis just "wanted to rock," and they did just that.