Girls Tennis Narrowly Pulls Out a Win Over Beth Tfiloh

What the team had expected to be an easy sweep turned into a 3-hour face-off with a nail-biting finale. 


Sam Schreiber

The girls’ tennis team lines up before their match.

Sam Schreiber and Brayden Mathias

The sun was starting to set on Tuesday, September 20th, as the girls tennis team tensely watched the 5th and deciding match of the day. What they had expected to be an easy sweep turned into a 3-hour face-off with a nail-biting finale. 

“I’m feeling confident. I think I can win. But don’t put that out there, because what if I lose?” said Chloe Lyons ‘25, encapsulating the team’s mentality going into the game.

Tuesday was the third conference match for the Friends girls’ tennis team. They have had a decent start to their season, with a 1-1 conference record.

“[We are] still working out some of the kinks in the early matches, but overall [the season] has been pretty good,” said #1 singles player and captain, Anna Keefer.

The team is led by coach John White, who has been with the Quakes for two seasons now, and loved by the players.

“Coach John has been really working with us on strategy,” said senior Cicely Kotarides.

One successful play he has taught the team is Australian Doubles. It is when the net player stands in front of the server so that the return goes back down-the-line, making for an easy poach winner.

Other players agree that Mr. White has helped them improve over the season.

“This is Maisie’s and my second year playing tennis,” said senior Colette Kirby. “We switched over from soccer and we were brand new players, but I think we both collectively have learned a lot, and I think we’ve definitely come a really far way from where we started last season”

Anticipating the match against Beth Tfiloh, the team was very confident.

Senior Maisie Burgunder’s one-word expectation for the match was: “dubs.” Her doubles partner, Colette, agreed saying “I have very high hopes. I think we’re gonna win.”

Both singles players got off to a quick start, with Anna and Chloe winning their first sets 6-0 and 6-1, respectively. 

“I think if I win this first set my momentum will carry,” Chloe said, going into her first match. “These past few matches I’ve been finding my momentum in the second set, but then it’s too late.” 

This definitely held true in Saturday’s match, as she carried her momentum through to the second set, winning 6-1. Anna finished shortly after, winning her second set 6-1 as well.

“I think my match went really well today. I was really hitting through my shots,” Anna reflected afterward. “I think my serve still gave me a little bit of trouble, but I worked through it.”

At this point, only one more Friends win would guarantee a team victory. With three matches still to go, it seemed like a sure thing.

While #1 doubles team, Simone Kessler ‘23 and Asha Chettri ‘26, had gotten off to a strong start winning their first set, they seemed to be losing some momentum. They put up a good fight for three full sets, but Beth Tfiloh came out with the win.

Still on the court was #2 doubles team, Isabelle Ruley ‘25 and Cicely. After a loss in the first set, the two were able to come back with a win in the second. Unfortunately, Beth Tfiloh was able to hone in again in the third set, getting a second victory.

Now the score was even, with just #3 doubles left on the courts. This would be the deciding match.

But the #3 doubles, Maisie and Colette, had been so focused in their own match, they had not even realized the others had lost. When coach Hoa Cost stepped in for some mid-match coaching, she didn’t tell them it was the deciding match.

They played a strong match, and decisively closed the contest of the day, winning in just 2 sets.

With a dominant finish from Maisie and Colette, the tennis team’s record has improved to 2-1.

Hopefully the girls can continue to carry this momentum into their next matches and the rest of the season.