Embellishing a History of Spirited Victory, Varsity Tennis Wins 12th Consecutive District Title

By Catharine Li, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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  • Meeting doubles partner Simryn Jacob ’24 with a triumphant smile, Kinaa Graham ’23 looks to celebrate a volley shot in their favor. The duo would go on to take their match 6-2, 6-2.

    Photo By Catharine Li

  • Leading their teammates in spirited encouragement, Zeyad Elchouemi ’22 and Aadhi Raja ’23 watch the final doubles matchup played by Dana Kardonik ’24 and Anwitha Duduka ’25. Shoulder-to-shoulder around the fence, both teams in entirely would gather to watch.

    Photo By Catharine Li

  • Launching a potent backhand shot, Anwitha Duduka ’25 places the ball out of the opposing poacher’s reach. Playing with Dana Kardonik ’24, their partnership made for an enthralling final doubles match.

    Photo By Catharine Li

  • Closing out a backhand drop shot, Kinaa Graham ’23 directs the ball with a commanding side spin to dictate the rhythm of play. Groundstroke consistencies made their way to the forefront of a successful match, with Graham coming out on top 6-2, 6-1.

    Photo By Catharine Li

  • With a fist pump in the air, Dana Kardonik ’24 builds critical momentum for the rest of her match, following a volley winner. Partnering with freshman Anwitha Duduka, the duo would drop the match 1-6, 6-4, (8-10).

    Photo By Catharine Li

  • Squatting to return a low-trajectory ball, Aditya Paravasthuramesh ‘24 eyes the shot, determining his next move. Playing with Finnegan Tankersley ’23 in doubles, they would secure a 6-0, 7-5 win.

    Photo By Catharine Li

  • Mid-air, Aashish Dhanani ’22 finishes a deep cross court forehand. As a senior on the team, Dhanani has a heightened responsibility to help strengthen team connections.

    Photo By Catharine Li

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For the now 12 consecutive district titles that call the ‘W’ adorned courts home, there’s a certain background formed from a program legacy of enduring excellence. Best reflected in the intrinsic nature of high school sports, the unequivocally close bonds of the student athletes who, now returning to the academic rigor of the in-person environment, impart a unique focus on the court. Creating an energy often mutedly replicated but never fully encapsulated in neighboring opponent cheers, the beauty of the bustle of tennis is never more evident than in the instance of a challenge. Clinching a final victory of 10-1 over the Vandegrift Vipers, the varsity tennis team would earn yet another celebratory plaque on Tuesday, Oct. 5 and cement the first step towards the state tournament. 

Generating a vibrant power that complemented an equally forceful defense of stable athleticism, immediate recoveries imposed a gracefully unpredictable environment of anticipation to capitalize on any possible opening to dictate each coming point. Boys doubles duo Finnegan Tankersley ‘23 and Aditya Paravasthuramesh ‘24 brought the heat to emerge victorious with a 6-0, 7-5 win. 

“It’s the relationship we have, because we keep feeding off of each other’s energy. We have a lot of fun on the court, and while there’s plenty of room for improvement, we played well,” Paravasthuramesh said. 

In a riveting afternoon of high-caliber tennis, line two girls doubles partners Dana Kardonik ‘24 and Anwitha Duduka ‘25 faced firm opposition, channelling the essence of proactivity that found itself in a resolute flexibility. Small hiccups informed a renewed perspective, promptly regaining footing to rescue points decisively. After dropping the first set 1-6, the pair would go on to take the second set 6-4, and finally fall just short in tiebreak 8-10. Sisters Gina Mepham ‘23 and Alex Mepham ‘23 joined to play a brisk 6-0, 6-4 match. 

“On the court, we have to stay positive. We keep on talking to each other and lifting each other up,” G. Mepham said. 

Forming a showcase of the sport that lended itself more similarly to an art, players’ capabilities were not only exhibited but challenged and embraced when put on full display. Rishika Vemulapalli ‘22 and Kyle Grimes ‘22 heeded eachother’s robust game to cover an impenetrable expanse of the court, 6-4, 6-2 in the Warriors’ favor. 

“The first set was kind of iffy, but we got it back [during] the second. Our matches are only going to get harder, but I think that’s just going to make it more fun for us, because like coach says, we do love the battle,” Vemulapalli said. 

Guided by decisive unit turns, Kinaa Graham ‘23 shined 6-2, 6-1 in singles, with groundstrokes  propelling onward in a deafening quell to conclude the bout. Stopping to reflect on the magnitude of the team feat is an intention head coach Travis Dalrymple stresses continually when sights are set on a greater nearing goal. 

“I never thought we’d get to a point like this, but I’m very happy where we’re at. We played a top 12 team ranked in the entire state, showed up, [and] took care of business.” 

Continuing in their road to the state playoffs, the varsity team will look to compete in a bi-district matchup in the coming week.

 

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