Westwood Horizon

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Varsity Tennis Clinches Program’s First State Title

Travis Dalrymple

Travis Dalrymple

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The last time Westwood tennis qualified for State, head coach Travis Dalrymple was a sophomore on the team.

That was 21 years ago.

Coach Dalrymple watched from the courts on Thursday as the varsity tennis team clinched the school’s first ever 6A State Team Tennis championship. They won their final game against Houston’s Memorial High School, the defending state champions, with a score of 10-7.

“I kept thinking about how badly Memorial had beaten us the past two years and how going into those matches before we’d known that we had almost no chance to win,” Anirudh Margam ‘20 said.  “But this year our team was packing a lot of talent and we’d worked hard to get where we were so we knew we had a solid shot at winning.”

After a commanding 10-1 win against 2017 state runner-up Cypress Ranch, the Warriors reached the final against Memorial, played later that day. The team captured a quick lead in doubles with a score of 5-2, which included a victory by the previously winless line one boys’ doubles team.

“I think I played the best doubles I’ve played all year with [Mohanad Elchouemi ‘19],” Ishan Dhanani ‘19 said. “We’ve taken so many hard losses and we were able to learn and take a win when it was needed the most.”

The Warriors only needed five wins from singles to capture the state title; the first four came from Gaurav Singh ‘20, Elchouemi ‘19, Daniel Antov ‘20, and Jessica Lu ‘21. The team then looked to 2016 state champion Kianna Graham ‘20 and line four Sofie Kardonik ‘19 for the final point. Following a 2-0 clinch by Graham against her opponent, the Warriors rushed the court in celebration of their first-ever State championship.

The kids played the best match of their entire lives and elevated to a level I didn’t know they had,” Coach Dalrymple said. “They found another gear and came away State champs because of it.  Every kid stood up and gave it their all and I am so proud of them.”

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