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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Varsity Tennis Clinches Back-to-Back State Championship Wins with 10-3 Set

Courtesy of Westwood Tennis
Posing for a photo with their State Championship trophy, the varsity tennis team celebrates victory after a 10-3 win against Houston Memorial Mustangs. This year marks the first time the team has won the title two years in a row. Players attributed the win to dedication, practice, and community.

The score was 9-3 in finals. Both men’s and women’s line one doubles teams had fallen to Houston Memorial, intensifying the atmosphere. The tenth match belonged to Arjun Rajan ‘25, a first-time player on the varsity lineup. Rajan held a 40-15 lead, the pressure mounting before hitting a backhand passing shot to claim the final win. The team immediately flooded the courts, cheering and jumping in celebration. 

On Thursday, Oct. 26, the Westwood varsity tennis team clinched their fourth 6A Team Tennis Championship with a 10-3 win against the Houston Memorial Mustangs. 

“Being a junior, [this year] was very nerve-wracking,” line one women’s varsity player Anwitha Duduka ‘25 said. “My freshman year, we lost State in the first round of Regionals, and to be at State two years in a row, we knew in a snap, this could all go away.”

However, the championship journey started by clocking in at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25, with the team’s arrival at Baylor University’s Hurd Tennis Center for their semi-final matches. 

“We start with doubles, which was nice because we had the comfort of our partners,” Duduka said.

The Warriors dominated in all six doubles matches against Woodlands High School, including line one women’s partners Duduka and Simryn Jacob ‘24 who destroyed their opponents 6-1 and 6-3. Westwood then went on to sweep in four more singles matches against Woodlands ending the semi-finals with a 10-1 win, qualifying for finals against Houston Memorial the next day.

“We got the last four matches pretty fast, concluding semis,” Duduka said. “Which was nice, we had that confidence going into finals. But at the same time, Memorial had a high score, they concluded semis with a 10-3 lead. We were all pretty nervous after seeing that score.”

Due to a 90% chance of rain on Thursday, finals were postponed from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., cultivating an uncertainty to when the courts would dry and be suitable for the matches. 

“It was horrible because we had all these nerves, and we just wanted to get out there and play,” Duduka said. “But with the rain delays, that wasn’t an option.”

Due to the unfavorable weather, buses with JV players were canceled, leaving varsity with a small audience of family members as opposed to their typical large crowds. The pressure of legacy lingered perpetually among the team; in this players sought ways to make the best of their unideal circumstances.

“The number of supporters we had [was] little to none, only parents and some siblings, and in high school tennis, people love to get loud,” Duduka said. “Your win is almost guaranteed based on how loud you get. We tried to make posters. I ordered posters and markers just to do something.”

Despite the conditions, the team dominated in all their matches, ending in the first time the Westwood Warriors won the title in two consecutive years. After the matches, the players attributed the outcome to dedication, practice, and community.

“It was even more special this year because of the seniors, they make up more than half the lineup,” Duduka said. “It was a slaughterhouse, just great.”

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About the Contributor
Chloe Oakley
Chloe Oakley, Campus News Editor
Class of 2025 Looking forward to another year as a part of Student Press, I am especially excited to be serving as Campus News Editor for an organization I so cherish. Beyond an obvious love for writing, my primary interests include literature and music. In the rare moments you find me outside the newsroom, I am likely hiking, fulfilling my love for coffee, or escaping into a thriller novel.

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    AyshaMay 20, 2024 at 9:16 am

    Both teams played great and won the hearts of Westwood, It really shows that hard works pays off!