There was no shortage of state tennis championship experience between them. Sriya Movva won the 2013 and 2014 girls doubles tournament playing alongside Hayley Keats. Katie Gauch was a two-time mixed doubles title winner — first with her brother, Michael Gauch and then last year with Elliott Thacker.
But this time around, the Churchill High School girls tennis seniors — and close friends — wanted to win together. So back in the fall, they teamed up and won a region title, qualifying for the tennis state championships. After an extended break — they only started practicing together again two weeks ago — they picked up right where they left off, cruising through the girls doubles draw and capping off their state title run with a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Sherwood (Molly Halprin/Kaitlyn Heo).
“I think we played really well. It's kind of like one of those partnerships where we have the chemistry,” Gauch said.
“Especially with our last high school match, to get to end it with my best friend. It's really nice,” Movva said.
Churchill (Potomac) was one of four Montgomery County gold medalists at Saturday's state tennis championships at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Wootton sophomore Miranda Deng won the girls singles tournament, defeating Atholton's Victoria Kogan (6-2, 6-3) in straight sets, winning the title for the second straight season.
“It's definitely different because I feel like everyone's like 'oh, you're the defending champion. So it's nice to win,” Deng said.
The Patriots also took gold in mixed doubles, with Jake Gordon and Kelly Chen defeating teammates I-Shiun Kuo and Ruchi Nanda (6-2, 6-4) in an all-Rockville school finals match.
In boys singles, Poolesville's Dennis Wang lost to Severna Park's Alex Cauneac (2-6, 6-1, 6-4) in a lengthy, back-and-forth finals match. It was the second three-setter of the day for the Falcons senior, who defeated Bel Air's Michael Quang (3-6, 6-3, 6-2) in the semifinals.
Seniors Luke Blackman and Eric Dubrow gave Bethesda-Chevy Chase its first boys doubles title since 2001, defeating Whitman's Andrew Leung and Jack Welch (7-6, 5-7, 6-2). It was a grudge match for the Barons duo, which lost to the Vikings in straight sets (6-4, 6-0) in the region championship.
“As both being seniors this year, we just really wanted to end it well. We needed it,” Dubrow said.
“... We've had a solid team the past four years but this was the year that we had the most depth. And so we finally got to play doubles together and it means a lot.”