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Tennis ends with 3 Singles champ, top 10 team finish

Girls varsity tennis, coming off a dramatic one-point regionals victory over Ann Arbor rival Father Gabriel Richard, went on to achieve its goal of finishing in the top ten at the state tournament–with the bonus of a 3 Singles state championship for Julia Friedman thrown in for good measure.

The team overcame some tough draws to finish the season strong, something coach Mark Randolph anticipated from his young but talented squad.

“Each flight went to work and distinguished itself by competing well,” he said.

Two Singles player and freshman Vidhya Rajaprabhakaran won her first match, then encountered a Number One seed who went on the win the flight tournament. Seniors Christina Panagouilia Triantafillopoulis and Pallavi Prabhu likewise had a tough sixth-seeded opponent, but fought hard before falling in three sets. Their opponents also advanced to the finals. The 2 Doubles team of senior Anicka Gajar and junior Anjali Purohit fought a see-saw battle before falling 6-4 in the third set. Doubles teams Orian Gulvesan and Sam Rondeau made their first appearance at states, losing to a Portland team that nearly upset the top seed in the next round. And the 4 Doubles team of Emma Freeborn and Jamie Todd fought hard before bowing to a strong fourth-seeded team.

One Singles player Kate Shaffer dominated her first match but lost the second, Randolph said. And Phoebe Sotiroff made it to the semi-finals before the top seed managed to elude her grasp.

At this point sophomore 3 Singles player Julia Friedman was the sole survivor–and she saved her best effort for last. Having overcome mononucleosis at the beginning of the season, she gathered her strength all spring, Randolph said, ┬áthen unleashed it in a victory in straight sets over Kalamazoo Christian. She then upset the third and second seeds and finally the top seed in the championship match. Friedman won a tight battle in a tie-breaker, in which her backhand return rode the net before trickling over for the win.

“Julia secured both her own 3 Singles individual state championship, the team’s 11th point, and an 8th place finish in the States,” Randolph said. “Julia went the distance. Well done, Gryphons!”

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