Westfield High School tennis standout Lexi Borr took the past disappointment of losing in the NJSIAA singles final and used it as fuel to capture the trophy.
That’s a model Kate Fahey wouldn’t mind emulating.
Fahey, a budding star at Rumson Fair-Haven, fell to Borr in Tuesday’s state final by a deceiving score of 6-2, 6-1 at Mercer County Park. The match was well-played at both ends. Sophomore Fahey hit well, but senior Borr had an answer at every turn.
“I just tried to be as patient as I could,” Fahey said. “She is such a steady player. We had really good rallies. In the end I just made more mistakes.”
Borr is headed to Boston College on a tennis scholarship, and showed why she will be an impact player right away on the collegiate level.
“I think Kate played beautifully — Lexi was just better today,” Rumson coach Maria Manley said. “Lexi maybe the whole match made eight, nine unforced errors. It’s tough to play against a player like that.”
Manley added, “It’s a good experience. Kate’s got all the tools to keep improving her game. She’s doing well and I am so proud of her.”
This triumph was three years in the making for Borr. As a sophomore, she lost the final in three sets to Gill St. Bernard’s Tina Jiang. Last fall, she passed up high school tennis to focus on the club circuit.
Leaving nothing to chance, Borr worked the angles like a master and wore down her counterpart.
“Both players were extremely consistent. The score was not indicative of the match,” Westfield coach Matt Varhley said.
Borr praised Fahey’s ground strokes and congratulated her on a great effort. The two know each other from the club circuit and have practiced together. Obviously the stakes were much different here.
“Playing against her in the state finals was such a good experience,” Fahey said. “I learned a lot from the match.”
As Borr could tell her, that comes in handy down the road.
“Keep in mind that Kate is only a sophomore,” Manley said. “Hopefully in two years it will be her winning — if not next year.”