Indoors, outdoors. It makes no difference for the Champlain Valley Union High girls tennis team.
The Redhawks successfully defended their Division 1 crown Friday night with a 6-1 victory over South Burlington High on the indoor courts at Twin Oaks Fitness Center in South Burlington. It was their fourth title in the last five springs.
Thursday afternoon rains had halted an attempt to play the matches at Shelburne’s Davis Park.
In rolling undefeated through regular season and tournament team competition for a second straight year, the Redhawks found another challenge when they began play in their 8 p.m. championship battle.
“It was unusually well-attended, which meant a highly charged atmosphere,” Coach Amy deGroot told the Observer. “People were packed into a small area. It was a different level of pressure, but the girls showed mental toughness on a difficult stage.”
Winning their individual matches to complete undefeated seasons in the team competition were number one player freshman Kathy Joseph, Emily Polhemus and Mandy Taheri.
The team of Claire Stoner and Leah Epstein, the state doubles champion team, won its match to remain unbeaten when paired together.
Also winning Friday night was Andrea Joseph and the Paige Watson and Mackenzie Buckman doubles duo.
DeGroot praised the hard work of her team members during the season and noted the experience and depth that gave the squad a definite advantage.
Some of that depth will be hard to find next season, at least at first, with the graduation of Andrea Joseph, Polhemus, Evelyn Mitchell, Stoner and Watson, along with the transfer of Taheri.
“We do have some good up-and-comers,” said deGroot. “We’ll be competitive.”
— Mal Boright,