Vars girls’ tennis takes AAA team title and dominates individual tournament

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Junior Olivia Pan prepares for a backhand return. Photo by Leonard Caoili

The varsity girls’ tennis team won All-City Team Finals 5–2 on Nov. 4 at Golden Gate Park, crowning them the San Francisco Section champions for the ninth consecutive year, in addition to several individual victories from the All-City Individual Tournament on Oct. 31.

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In the All-City Individual Tournament, senior Kristine Pau smashed through all of the rounds and emerged victorious in the singles championship match against fellow teammate and sophomore Arina Caliman with scores of 6–2, 6–1.

“Breaking the city record is something that I will remember forever.”

Going into the match, Pau had her mind set on breaking the city record for most All-City singles tournament wins. With the victory, she broke the city record and become the first female to win All-City singles for four consecutive years. “After my coach told me, I checked the record of females who won All-City since the 1970s, and the most a female has won is three years,” Pau said. “Since it’s my last year, I really wanted this year to be memorable, and breaking the city record is something that I will remember forever.”

Seniors Sophia Wu and Allison Tsui prepare to return their opponent’s swing. Photo by Leonard Caoili

In individual doubles tournament, the championship round ended with junior Erica Zee and sophomore Kathleen Mai facing off against teammates juniors Laura Berkovsky and Olivia Pan. Zee and Mai won the match and the doubles tournament title 6–3, 6–4. Berkovsky and Pan settled for second place.

“Being with these girls for fours years is what made tennis a great experience.”

With the season wrapping up, many Cardinals will miss playing matches with each other and are looking forward to changes in leadership next season. “When I was a freshman I was shy,” senior co-captain Bernice Zhu said. “Everyone was so intimidating to me, but now that I am a senior, I’ve become close to all of them. Tennis is fun, but I can always play that in college. Being with these girls for fours years is what made tennis a great experience.”

Some players will also miss participating in tennis matches after school. “I’ll definitely miss playing matches at the windy Lowell courts with the drum corp in the background,” Pau said. Despite the seniors leaving, the team will continue to remain strong next season and are excited for next season.