RHS Girls’ Tennis
Garnets Capture Section 1 Crown
By Melanie Cane
This season Section 1 added an official team tournament to the local high
school girls’ tennis season, getting up to speed with the other sections
in the state. The Rye High’s Girls’ Tennis team reached twin peaks, winning both the league and section titles October 24 at Harrison High School.
Due to multiple rainouts and postponements, the Garnets and Byram Hills, both of whom were 11-0 in league play and therefore shared first place, had been unable to play one another for the championship prior to the sectional matches. As such, the semifinal sectional match between the two teams determined not only which team advanced to the sectional final, but which team won the league.
As expected, given the high stakes and their unblemished records, the match-up between these two teams was drama–filled. Rye’s strong doubles teams gave them an early 3-2 lead.
First doubles partners senior captain Niki Francis and junior Jocelyn Stone came back from a first set loss and down 5-4 in the second to win 7-5 and 10-6 in the super tiebreaker.
The second doubles team of senior captain Steffi Rodilosso and sophomore Courtney Lopp, as well as the fourth doubles team of freshmen Charlotte Ausfahl and Morgan Delizia had convincing wins. These two outstanding teams recorded a perfect combined 24-0 on the season.
The Bobcats top two singles players, state semifinalist doubles sisters Ellie and Aliie Margolin, were both up a set against Rye’s top two players. After Rye’s No.1 singles player, ninth grader Juliette Stone, lost, the teams were tied at 3-3. Catharina Ausfahl, at second singles, demonstrated extraordinary will and focus in the final match, coming back to win the second set 6-2, and the super tiebreak 10-6 to secure the League title.
The semifinal matches ended at 7 p.m. on the brisk evening, so the finalists, Rye and Mamaroneck, played an abbreviated match of eight–game pro sets. The Garnets had beaten the Tigers 5-2 earlier in the season, dropping only the top two singles matches to a pair of strong seniors. They had a repeat performance in the final. Senior captain Elena Nunez finished first, with a quick 8-1 win at third singles, and the Garnets swept the doubles to win 5-2.
The captains reflected on the team’s success. Rodilosso said, “We won the Section because everyone is passionate about tennis and put 100 percent effort into every match.” Francis added, “It was an incredible end to an incredible season. This team was so much fun to play with. Everyone is talented and nice.”
An exuberant Coach Tony Campbell said afterwards, “It was a perfect season — if there is such a thing. The girls climbed every hill there was to climb and seemed to enjoy every minute of it. Their contagious enthusiasm took them really far.”
Senior co-captain Elena Nunez
The unbeatable team of Courtney Lopp and Steffi Rodilosso
Singles star Catharina Ausfahl kept her cool and her focus in League play.
The Garnets team with Coach Tony Campbell after winning the Section 1 Championship.