U19A Phoenix Tennis: Girls win ACSIS; 3rd in SEASAC
By Lauren Hoang, Grade 12, Dover Campus
Leading up to this years SEASAC tournament, the Phoenix Girls U19A team won all their match-ups at ACSIS, and were confident that they had the ability to win. Everyone on the team was focused on the goal of bringing home the gold. Finishing ACSIS as champions, the girls were excited and confident in their chances at SEASAC. The team was made up of the best players UWCSEA Dover had seen in years, with a young core that could only improve.
Yet, the team started off Friday with a slow start against the UWCSEA East team. A previous record of 5-0 during ACSIS was reduced to a narrow 3-2 victory that left the girls determined to step up their game, and to replicate their practice sessions into their SEASAC matches. The games were filled with unforced errors and nerves that could only be explained by the highly pressured situation. The girls managed to scrape to another close 3-2 victory against NIST (the previous runner-ups), due to the retirement of their singles three due to injury. Friday ended with a 4-1 victory over British School of Jakarta (BSJ), leaving them undefeated at the end of day 1. However, by the end of day 1, Bangkok Patana School (BPS) had also finished with a 3-0 record, tying them with Dover as the front-runners of the tournament. The next day, the girls were determined to continue their streak of wins and grab the first seed in order to avoid both BPS and NIST. The first match up was a strong 5-0 victory over Rumarudee International School (RIS), who had just moved up from Division 2. The last team they were to face was BPS, which would determine if the girls were seeded first or second: meaning they would have to play NIST again. Both teams had remained undefeated throughout the tournament, and it resulted in a tense atmosphere between both teams. Yet, Phoenix ended up losing 4-1, a disappointment that gave them determination for the semi-finals.
The semi-finals started against third seeds NIST late on Saturday afternoon, when the Rugby and Touch competitions had already finished playing their finals. It was a tight and nerve-racking match up that was tied at 1-1, then at 2-2. It finally ended with a score of 6-8 in the 2nd Doubles to NIST. This left the girls heartbroken, as they had their hearts set on this being their year. But for this young team, there was always next year, with only one member of the team graduating. The Phoenix took care of business on Sunday in the third and fourth place matchup, defeating UWCSEA East 5-0.
The tournament ended with a third place medal and the girl’s disappointed yet hungry for a victory next year. Each member of the team is determined to bring home the gold next year, having had a taste of both the ain and experience it takes to win. Even though the season is over, we have much to be optimistic about for the future of Girl’s Tennis at this school. Eventually, this group of girls will bring the championship back to Dover. You better believe it.