Category Archives: Girls Tennis

Pingry girls defend Non-Public A title; Gill St Bernard’s falls in Non-Public B

WEST WINDSOR — In convincing fashion, The Pingry School girls tennis team defended their NJSIAA Non-Public A title, routing Holy Angels, 5-0, Thursday afternoon at Mercer County Park.

The Big Blue advanced to Sunday’s Tournament of Champions, which will be at the Garden State Tennis Club in Edison.

“All the girls played great, high-level tennis today. It was tough at each position on every court,” head coach John Diaz said. “The singles were great and the doubles played their best tennis of the whole season. I think they’re starting to come together perfectly and today everything clicked for them. It was great to see.”

Madison Stevens, Christina Zajkowski and Jacquie Jakimowicz all dominated their singles matches, winning in straight sets for Pingry. Stevens took care of a pesky Adrianne Alfonso 6-1, 6-3, Zajkowski disposed of Christen Duff 6-3, 6-0 and Jakimowicz rolled through Jackie De Rocher 6-1, 6-1.

“Christina is in complete control; she had it all the way in her match and ran away with it,” Diaz said afterwards. “Jacquie is undefeated in singles matches this year and she was great again today.”

On the doubles side, Jennifer Guo and Avery Hatfield bested Eliza Haynes and Fiona Williams 6-2, 6-2, while Wesley Streicher and Tiffany Yao edged Alison Kim and Carla Nilo 6-2, 6-0.

“It’s really important for Pingry to repeat as the Non-Public A champions,” Diaz said. “We wanted to improve and win this thing again and we wanted to demonstrate that we could do it again with some new players this year.”

Gill St. Bernard’s played one of the best matches of the day against Newark Academy in the Non-Public B final, but came up just short, 3-2. It all came down to Sharon Gin in her second singles match against Hannah Gould, but the freshman ran out of gas, falling 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, in the deciding match of the day.

“She worked hard and didn’t want to give up. It was a great match and everything came down to that. It was tough, but Newark Academy deserves to win after that,” head coach Sean Welcome said. “It was close and we’re that close to them now, so that’s really good for Gill in general as a program.”

Krishna Patel won the first singles match for Gill St. Bernard’s over Rebecca Gorelov 6-1, 6-3 and the doubles tandem of Kendall Dunn and Jacqueline Fuentes toppled Sophia Busam and Danielle Sidi 6-4, 6-0.

Stephanie Fuentes fell at third singles to Crystal Wang 6-4, 6-3 and the doubles team of Lucy Dunn and Carolyn Najarian was defeated by Rakhi Kundra and Jocelyn Tolpin 6-1, 6-1. Even with the loss, Welcome acknowledged that the year was a success.

“We accomplished a lot and we won a sectional title against a really good team and we gave Newark Academy everything we had that’s a big thing for us,” he said. “We’re going to just keep pushing and keep getting better and maybe next year we can get over that hump.”

Pingry 5, Holy Angels 0

Singles: Madison Stevens (P) d. Adrianne Alfonso 6-1, 6-3; Christina Zajkowski (P) d. Christen Duff 6-3, 6-0; Jacquie Jakimowicz (P) d. Jackie De Rocher 6-1, 6-1. Doubles: Jennifer Guo and Avery Hatfield (P) d. Eliza Haynes and Fiona Williams 6-2, 6-2; Wesley Streicher and Tiffany Yao (P) d. Alison Kim and Carla Nilo 6-2, 6-0.

Newark Academy 3, Gill St. Bernard’s 2

Singles: Krishna Patel (GSB) d. Rebecca Gorelov 6-1, 6-3; Hannah Gould (NA) d. Sharon Jin 7-6 (7-4), 6-3; Crystal Wang (NA) d. Stephanie Fuentes 6-4, 6-3. Doubles: Kendall Dunn and Jacqueline Fuentes (GSB) d. Sophia Busam and Danielle Sidi 6-4, 6-0; Rakhi Kundra and Jocelyn Tolpin (NA) d. Lucy Dunn and Carolyn Najarian 6-1, 6-1.

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Metuchen girls falter in NJSIAA Group I semifinals

WEST WINDSOR — After rolling through the NJSIAA Central Group I Tournament and reaching the state semifinals, the Metuchen High School girls tennis team simply ran out of gas and into a powerful opponent on Thursday as. Glen Ridge ended Metuchen’s run by sweeping the Bulldogs 5-0 at Mercer County Park.

Metuchen was behind from the start as all three of their singles players dropped the first set, winning just two games in the process. All three, however, improved in the second set, but not enough to overcome the Glen Ridge players.

Catherine Popow never got into a groove at first singles as she was upended by Kendall Smith 6-1, 6-3. Catherine’s sister Anna fell at second singles 6-0, 6-4 to Paige Moriarty and Lisa Allgauer battled hard in the second set by succumbed to Katie Frohling 6-1, 7-6.

“They got off to a slow start, but once they settled down, you could see across the board that the scores were much more competitive,” head coach Rob Strauss said. “We had opportunities to win all three singles matches, or at least force a third set, and that’s something I’m extremely proud of. It showed our character and our determination to not give up and I’m so proud of their effort to the last point.”

The doubles squads of Siri Uppuluri and Tiffany Yao, along with Laura James and Christina Michalski, were overwhelmed by Glen Ridge, the scores 6-1, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-0 respectively. But, even with the loss, Strauss knows that it’s an accomplishment to have made it this far.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these girls. They work hard and we knew we wanted to challenge ourselves with some better opponents early on and it helped us prepare for this match today. I couldn’t be more proud of all the hard work they put into this season. It’s a great group of girls to work with,” he said.

Glen Ridge 5, Metuchen 0

Singles: Kendall Smith (GR) d. Catherine Popow 6-1, 6-3; Paige Moriarty (GR) d. Anna Popow 6-0, 6-4; Katie Frohling (GR) d. Lisa Allgauer 6-1, 7-6. Doubles: Maddie Baione and Erin Carr (GR) d. Siri Uppuluri and Tiffany Yao 6-1. 6-0; Tessa Powell and Julia Tolmachyov (GR) d. Laura James and Christina Michalski 6-0, 6-0.

Bulldogs sweep their way to title

Metuchen's Catherine Popow returns a shot to New Egypt's Anna Farrand during their first-singles match on Monday. Photo by: Jason Towlen

Metuchen’s Catherine Popow returns a shot to New Egypt’s Anna Farrand during their first-singles match on Monday. Photo by: Jason Towlen

METUCHEN — On a day when the Metuchen High School girls tennis team repeated as Central Group I champions, third-singles player Lisa Allgauer was entrenched in the match of the day against New Egypt’s Dianna Byrne. With all of the other four matches already complete and the Bulldogs already having wrapped up the title, Allgauer trailed in the second set, but rallied to win the final three games, capping an afternoon sweep for Metuchen.

“I think she got off to a good start and when the match got a little bit closer, she played a little bit more tentatively and I think towards the end, she was down 3-4 and those last three games were her best of the match,” coach Rob Strauss said. “She really started to believe in her stroke and regain her confidence and I think she finished the match off really strong. We need that from her from the start on Thursday.”

The Bulldogs (16-1) advance to Thursday’s state finals at Mercer County Park in West Windsor on a serious roll. The top seed in the Central Group I bracket hasn’t dropped a set since the quarterfinals against Point Pleasant Beach, after sweeping Highland Park and New Egypt. First singles player Catherine Popow did her part to get Metuchen off on a good foot, disposing of Anna Farrand 6-0, 6-0. From there, her teammates did the rest to ensure a clean victory.

“When we’re warming up, I usually try to analyze what her weaknesses are and coach will help me out between games,” Popow said. “Like he’ll point some stuff out to me and I was able to pick up on one of her weaker areas and I just kept repeating the same shot that was working. I’m just so glad we got to do this again and we’re hoping to keep it going on Thursday.”

Anna Popow, Catherine’s younger sister, was nearly as dominant in second singles, beating Zena Merni 6-0, 6-1. With Allgauer’s victory, Metuchen only dropped seven games in the three singles matches.

“Coming into the season, we had high expectations, knowing we had our three singles returning and Tiffany has been playing great at doubles. But we had three new girls come in and fill the voids and it’s pretty amazing what we can do when we play up to our potential,” Strauss said.

Tiffany Yao and Siri Uppuluri dominated their first-doubles match against Cassidy Wiltshire and Brielle Perrins, 6-0, 6-1, and Laura James and Christina Michalski sealed the deal against Devin North and Sarah Daly 6-1, 6-3. Strauss said he hopes his squad plays like it did on Monday every day, winning all five matches in straight sets, but knows that momentum is key in doing so.

“Obviously we want to try and whoop them, but I do think that coming off the semi-final win against Highland Park and being so dominant in that match helped us,” he said. “It gave us a lot of confidence today and the girls just executed really well today.”

Metuchen 5, New Egypt 0

Singles: Cathernie Popow (Met.) d. Anna Farrand 6-0, 6-0; Anna Popow (Met.) d. Zena Merni 6-0, 6-1; Lisa Allgauer (Met.) d. Dianna Byrne 6-2, 6-4. Doubles: Siri Uppuluri and Tiffany Yao (Met.) d. Cassidy Wiltshire and Brielle Perrins 6-0, 6-1; Laura James and Christina Michalski (Met.) d. Devin North and Sarah Daly 6-1, 6-3.Records: Metuchen 16-1, New Egypt 9-4.