Third Place Finish in NEPSAC Tournament Caps 8-1 Season

Andover Girls Tennis battled against highly competitive opponents for a third place finish in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council Tournament last weekend. Hotchkiss and Pingree were the only two squads to place higher than Andover in the fifteen team pool. Katherine Lee ’13 took the court for Andover in the first singles position, facing nationally ranked player Dayna Lord from Kingswood-Oxford. Lee suffered an 1-8 loss, forcing her into the loser’s bracket of the tournament. Lee rebounded and beat her next opponent 8-2. However, her 4-8 loss in the third match eliminated her from the tournament. Fay Feghali ’12 played in the second singles position and she finished in fourth place overall in her draw. She started her first match against the fourth seed and won the tiebreaker 7-5 for an 8-7 match win. Feghali moved on in the tournament and earned another victory, 8-2. “I was less nervous for my second match, and I beat an opponent that I lost to earlier in the season,” said Feghali. Feghali then moved on to the semifinals, squaring off against a nationally ranked opponent. Feghali fell 0-10, and she then had to face a Hotchkiss player in the loser’s bracket. Unfortunately, Feghali had to default due to a wrist injury, cutting her tournament run short. “I got what I expected out of the tournament. I knew who my hard opponents were and I knew who I could beat,” said Feghali. In doubles play, Borkeney Sambou ’12 and MJ Engel ’12 started off their tournament with an 8-7 victory against a pair from Noble and Greenough. The two then beat Pingree 10-9, and and moved on to face Hotchkiss. The duo battled in this final match for three and a half hours, but fell in the third set. Co-Captain Stacia Vladimirova ’11 teamed up with Elizabeth Kelly ’11 in the first doubles position. The two beat their first opponents 8-2, then faced staunch opponents from Thayer in the quarterfinal match. Thayer burst out to a four point lead, but Kelly and Vladimirova fought back to win 8-7 in the tiebreaker. The duo then took on Groton. A 10-5 loss secured their third place finish. “I think we owed our determination to Borkeny [Sambou] and MJ [Engel], because we watched them come back from 0-3 down in their semi-final match against a tough Pingree team before we took the court,” said Kelly. Andover looks back on a successful 2010 run with its 8-1 regular season, a third place NEPSAC trophy, and this year’s Banta Award given to Kelly. Next year, Kelly will join existing Captain Vladimirova in leading the team.