by Roger Wistar
The girls varsity tennis team captured another New England championship with a stellar display of singles play in the finals against Andover on May 20.
The Bearcats (15-1) rallied from a doubles sweep at the hands of the Big Blue with five straight singles victories to bring home its sixth New England crown and first since 2013.
The finals was a rematch of last year's title match, won 5-0 by Andover, who again entered this year's tournament as the #1 seed as a result of their head-to-head victory over Hotchkiss on April 22.
And it seemed as if history would repeat itself, as Andover jumped out with three straight doubles victories, winning 8-2 at #1, 9-7 at #2, and 9-8 (7-2) at #3.
Unlike last year, however, the Bearcats would regroup and rally, beginning with #3 singles Jennifer Li '20, who won the first set of her match before her Andover opponent was forced to retire. Grace Kennedy '19 followed at #4 with a win in straight sets, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2. Savannah Roberts '19 dropped the second set of her match at #2 singles but rallied to square the two teams at three points each, 6-3, 1-6, 10-3.
Sara McClure '20 at #1 gave Hotchkiss its first lead of the day with another straight-set win at 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), putting the team just one point away from the title. Fittingly, team captain Emily Rose '18 sealed the deal at #5 with a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 win.
Ginny Barnes '19 at #6 won the first set of her match before Rose clinched it for the Bearcats.
On Saturday, despite the weather, the Bearcats eased past Deerfield 6-1 in the quarterfinals and Nobles 5-0 in the semifinals to set up the championship match against Andover.