Girls tennis wins New England title
The girls varsity tennis team completed their undefeated 2012 season with a win over Greens Farms Academy in the New England championship tournament.
After losing two of the three opening doubles matches, the Bearcats (14-0) responded with a dominating effort in singles, sweeping all five completed matches to take the title 6-2.
The win provided the final exclamation point in the careers of this year’s Senior class. In the past four years, the team has won three New England titles, two Kent Invitational titles, and finished with an overall match record of 47-2.
Playing in their final matches, all three competing Seniors (Bea Rosen, Pilar Giffenig, and Angela Chen) won their singles matches, including a tiebreaker win by Chen. Team captain Libba King ’12 was unable to play in the match because of a prior injury.
In the end, however, it was a Prep, Lyndell Giffenig, who clinched the championship. Lyndell rallied from an early second-set deficit with two breaks of her own, closing out her match and the championship at 6-4, 6-4.
All four of the top Hotchkiss singles players – Rosen at #1, Pilar Giffenig at #2, Brigitte Desnoes ’13 at #3, and Lyndell Giffenig at #4 – won their matches in straight sets.
The day certainly proved a tougher test than the home team had perhaps anticipated. Hotchkiss came into the finals having earned a bye in the first round and recording a relatively easy 5-1 victory over Andover in the semifinals.
Greens Farms, the second seed, provided immediate pressure in the doubles round. Rosen and Desnoes at #2 doubles recorded a shutout victory at 8-0 to open scoring on the day. The Giffenig sisters at #1 doubles appeared ready to close out their match as well, leading Greens Farms 7-4 on serve. The Dragons mounted an improbable rally, breaking Pilar and Lyndell and winning the next five games to take the match at 9-7.
A doubles loss at #3 by Chen and Emma Ractliffe ’13 gave Greens Farms the early 2-1 lead, forcing Hotchkiss into needing to win four of six singles matches and setting the stage for the sweep that followed.
Rosen and Desnoes won their singles matches relatively quickly, with Rosen closing out her opponent at 6-0, 6-1 and Desnoes winning 6-4, 6-2. Pilar Giffenig rallied from her defeat in doubles to record a 6-4, 6-2 victory in her match.