Girls Varsity Tennis Wins Third Consecutive New England Title
by Julia Lebovitz on Friday, June 10th, 2016
Girl’s Varsity Tennis had yet another dominant, undefeated season. Winning both their fourth straight ISL title and third straight New England title, MAGVT certainly had more than just a good season. Captain Maddie Dewire (I) led the team well from her #1 spot in the lineup. According to Coach Troy Critchlow, Dewire is “by far the best tennis player [he] has coached in his tenure at Milton.” Dewire has been one of the best, if not the best, players in the ISL throughout all four of her years on the team and has definitely been crucial to the team’s success. She transformed Milton’s tennis from an average ISL team to the best in New England.
In the New England Tournament at the end of the May, MAGVT won a nail-biter match against Phillips Andover — their toughest competitor. After a 7-2 loss to Milton earlier in the season and devastating losses in the New England finals the past two years, Andover came to the match hungry for a win. Milton started off a bit uneasily, as they lost two of their three doubles matches. For the New England Tournament, a team needs to win five matches to secure the title. Their poor start in doubles meant that MAGVT needed to win four singles matches, while Andover only had to win three. In the regular season, Milton won the top five singles matches, but against Andover, they were all extremely close matches. Heading into the tournament’s singles matches, no one was guaranteed to win.
Luckily, the team rebounded quickly after doubles and came out strong for singles. Christine Flatley (III) and Semi Oloko (II) won quick matches against two very tough competitors. Oloko was “most proud of her volleys” and had a lot of fun with many Milton fans cheering her on. Natalie Wamaster (III) won in a very close second set tiebreaker. As a result, Milton only needed to win one out of the two remaining matches. Te Palandjian clinched the championship in a third set tiebreaker. After winning the first set easily, Palandjian lost her second 6-7. With around 20 fans watching and cheering her on, Palandjian won her tiebreaker 10-6 and secured Milton’s third straight New England title.
The following Wednesday, MAGVT won the ISL title by beating the previously undefeated Groton team by a score of 12-3. The 2016 season was dedicated to Merritt Levitan ‘13 who died shortly after graduating from Milton. Merritt was on the tennis team for four years and captain for her senior year. She was an integral part of the team and brought so much positive energy to every practice and match. Although Dewire was the only player whose time on MAGVT overlapped with Merritt’s, Merritt’s legacy has definitely lived on and motivated the team to work as hard as it has for success. On June 6th, Girl’s Varsity Tennis hosted a mixed-doubles tournament in honor of Merritt, and all proceeds went to Merritt’s Way. This event was a very fun way to remember Merritt and all that she brought to not only the tennis team, but also the Milton community.
Next season also looks very promising for MAGVT, though they will be losing their captain. However, although not having Dewire will definitely be tough for both the matches and the team’s dynamic, the team is excited to see what she will accomplish while playing tennis at Amherst College. Katherine McDonough (IV) is confident that “Semi will step up as #1 and everyone else will follow — moving up one position.” MAGVT hopes to win the ISL and New England titles again next season. If the team accomplishes this feat, the rising seniors will have won both titles during all four years of their Milton careers. But most importantly, the team is looking forward to another fun season filled with memories and wins.
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