In convincing fashion, The Pingry School girls tennis team defended their NJSIAA Non-Public A title, routing Holy Angels, 5-0, Thursday afternoon at Mercer County Park.
The Big Blue advanced to Sunday’s Tournament of Champions, which will be at the Garden State Tennis Club in Edison.
“All the girls played great, high-level tennis today. It was tough at each position on every court,” head coach John Diaz said. “The singles were great and the doubles played their best tennis of the whole season. I think they’re starting to come together perfectly and today everything clicked for them. It was great to see.”
Madison Stevens, Christina Zajkowski and Jacquie Jakimowicz all dominated their singles matches, winning in straight sets for Pingry. Stevens took care of a pesky Adrianne Alfonso 6-1, 6-3, Zajkowski disposed of Christen Duff 6-3, 6-0 and Jakimowicz rolled through Jackie De Rocher 6-1, 6-1.
“Christina is in complete control; she had it all the way in her match and ran away with it,” Diaz said afterwards. “Jacquie is undefeated in singles matches this year and she was great again today.”
On the doubles side, Jennifer Guo and Avery Hatfield bested Eliza Haynes and Fiona Williams 6-2, 6-2, while Wesley Streicher and Tiffany Yao edged Alison Kim and Carla Nilo 6-2, 6-0.
“It’s really important for Pingry to repeat as the Non-Public A champions,” Diaz said. “We wanted to improve and win this thing again and we wanted to demonstrate that we could do it again with some new players this year.”
Gill St. Bernard’s played one of the best matches of the day against Newark Academy in the Non-Public B final, but came up just short, 3-2. It all came down to Sharon Gin in her second singles match against Hannah Gould, but the freshman ran out of gas, falling 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, in the deciding match of the day.
“She worked hard and didn’t want to give up. It was a great match and everything came down to that. It was tough, but Newark Academy deserves to win after that,” head coach Sean Welcome said. “It was close and we’re that close to them now, so that’s really good for Gill in general as a program.”
Krishna Patel won the first singles match for Gill St. Bernard’s over Rebecca Gorelov 6-1, 6-3 and the doubles tandem of Kendall Dunn and Jacqueline Fuentes toppled Sophia Busam and Danielle Sidi 6-4, 6-0.
Stephanie Fuentes fell at third singles to Crystal Wang 6-4, 6-3 and the doubles team of Lucy Dunn and Carolyn Najarian was defeated by Rakhi Kundra and Jocelyn Tolpin 6-1, 6-1. Even with the loss, Welcome acknowledged that the year was a success.
“We accomplished a lot and we won a sectional title against a really good team and we gave Newark Academy everything we had that’s a big thing for us,” he said. “We’re going to just keep pushing and keep getting better and maybe next year we can get over that hump.”
Pingry 5, Holy Angels 0
Singles: Madison Stevens (P) d. Adrianne Alfonso 6-1, 6-3; Christina Zajkowski (P) d. Christen Duff 6-3, 6-0; Jacquie Jakimowicz (P) d. Jackie De Rocher 6-1, 6-1. Doubles: Jennifer Guo and Avery Hatfield (P) d. Eliza Haynes and Fiona Williams 6-2, 6-2; Wesley Streicher and Tiffany Yao (P) d. Alison Kim and Carla Nilo 6-2, 6-0.
Newark Academy 3, Gill St. Bernard’s 2
Singles: Krishna Patel (GSB) d. Rebecca Gorelov 6-1, 6-3; Hannah Gould (NA) d. Sharon Jin 7-6 (7-4), 6-3; Crystal Wang (NA) d. Stephanie Fuentes 6-4, 6-3. Doubles: Kendall Dunn and Jacqueline Fuentes (GSB) d. Sophia Busam and Danielle Sidi 6-4, 6-0; Rakhi Kundra and Jocelyn Tolpin (NA) d. Lucy Dunn and Carolyn Najarian 6-1, 6-1.