Tower Hill continued its dominant run in the DIAA Girls Tennis State Tournament, winning its fourth straight title Wednesday at the University of Delaware Field House’s tennis courts.
The Hillers racked up 25 points thanks to three victories in the finals to beat second-place Caesar Rodney by seven points, and head coach Wendy Berkover said every member of the team took part in their success.
“It was a total team effort, and that makes it beautiful,” Berkover said. “Every girl contributed; not a single person was left out. That’s the way it should be. I’m proud of them.”
Tower Hill’s run through the state tournament was powered by dominant performances from the double pairings of Carolyn Ward and Abby Podolsky and Alexandria Churchwell and Taylor Reese.
Ward and Podolsky put the Hillers in position to clinch their ninth title in the last 11 seasons when the duo swept the Charter School of Wilmington pair of Carly Fabian and Ariel Friedlander, 6-3, 6-1.
Churchwell and Reese clinched the state title for the Hillers less than an hour later, outlasting the Friends pair of Alexandra Fields and Caroline Grover in three sets, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, and prompting a celebration from the Tower Hill side of the courts.
“It feels awesome. I’m really glad we ended up winning it,” Podolsky, an eighth-grader, said. “We have some really good players throughout our lineup. Overall, in the whole tournament, everyone played great. I’m so happy.”
Lexi Butler capped of the day in style for the Hillers, beating Caesar Rodney’s Hannah Morris in three sets, 3-6, 6-1, 6-0, to take the state title in third singles.
Annie Jaskulski earned a state title in first singles, besting Sarah Candeloro of Caesar Rodney, 6-3, 6-4, and, after she won the final point, she fell to her knees, happy to see her work pay off.
“It feels amazing. It took a lot of effort and took a lot of hard work to be here, and to be in the finals, it’s all worth it,” Jaskulski said. “At the beginning, I was nervous. She was a senior, and a lot of people expected her to win, and going into it, I just realized I had to play my game.”
Sloan Barton earned an individual state title for the runner-up Riders, winning second girls by beating Tower Hill’s Sydney Butler, 6-2, 6-1.