Tennis: Churchill cruises past Whitman by James Peters Staff writer
After sharing the coveted Montgomery County girls tennis title a year ago with Walt Whitman and Thomas S. Wootton, Winston Churchill showed once again Friday why it will be the favorite to loft the trophy all by itself when the county championship rolls around again next month.
Led by an impressive sweep during singles play — all four wins were accomplished in straight sets — the Bulldogs cruised past visiting Whitman, 7-0, to claim a sweep of last season’s fellow champions and moved within a win against Richard Montgomery from perfection in the county’s Division I standings.
Sriya Movva started Churchill’s victorious sweep with a comfortable, 6-2, 6-1, win against Olivia Tompkins at No. 3 singles.
“I’m really looking forward to counties,” Movva said. “I really feel like Churchill is going to do so well again.”
No. 2 singles player Hayley Keats and No. 4 singles player Lauren Perrine followed with victories against Anna Volkov and Whitney Cinkala, respectively, in straight set scores of 6-4, 6-0, and 7-5, 6-4.
“In the second set, I got my first services in a lot more, which is an advantage,” Keats said. “I went to the net a few times and I tried to move her around and be more aggressive.”
Bulldogs ace Katie Gauch then scored the match win through a hard-fought, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, victory against Nicole Welch. Gauch took a 4-1 lead in the first set only to see Welch rally to force the tiebreaker. Gauch started strong in the second set as well but this time finished it off for the win.
“It means a lot because Whitman is a powerhouse so it’s a good win,” Gauch said. “It was a tough match. I worked hard to get it. I think going into the counties this year, we feel really strong. We’re going to have a lot of tough matches, as you can see here, but I like our chances.”
The Churchill doubles teams concluded the match with three more wins to improve the Bulldogs to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in Division I play.
Whitman dropped to 7-2, 4-2 in the division.
“Churchill is always one of the best teams in the county and I think they’re as strong as they’ve ever been,” Vikings coach Julie Frank said. “It’s always a disappointing loss but it’s great to have competitive tennis on every single court like we have today.”
Winston Churchill 7, Walt Whitman 0
No. 1: Katie Gauch (WC) d. Nicole Welch, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
No. 2: Hayley Keats (WC) d. Anna Volkov, 6-4, 6-0
No. 3: Sriya Movva (WC) d. Olivia Tompkins, 6-2, 6-1
No. 4: Lauren Perrine (WC) d. Whitney Cinkala, 7-5, 6-4
No. 1: Megan Le-Alissa Li (WC) d. Rachel Arnesen-Emily Meyers, 6-3, 6-3
No. 2: Sydney Shugarman-Emily Hillman (WC) d. Ali Dane-Tina Vaziri, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
No. 3: Ales Boukhvalova-Joan Albrecht (CH) d. Kayla Loberbaum-Farah Gustafson, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2