Girls tennis duo qualifies for state

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Photos courtesy of Basma Raja

Junior Martha Brennan (left) and senior Basma Raja

For the first time since 2018, an OPRF tennis duo qualified for state. Senior Basma Raja and Junior Martha Brennan emerged as the top doubles team this year and finished the season going 1-2 at the state tournament. 

Raja and Brenna started as singles players, and found it difficult at the beginning to share the court and communicate effectively with each other.

However, the two were similar in talent and joined forces this season. “They really just developed that kind of intuitiveness on the court about how to move, what to do, where to play, and where to be,” says head varsity girls tennis Coach Fred Galluzzo. 

“I was lucky to have clicked with Basma so quickly, as our unique singles skills morphed into our doubles game,” says Brennan.

At the sectional tournament, multiple OPRF doubles teams had success. Alina Segal and Sadie Lyons won their first round match, while Angie Berggren and Margot Eldred reached the quarter-finals. Raja and Brennan made it the furthest in the tournament, finishing second and qualifying for the state tournament. 

“We would have wished to bring more of our teammates along with us because they worked really hard and deserved to go to state as well,” says Raja. 

On Wednesday Oct. 20, the school held a drumline for the two girls, celebrating their advancement to state. “Personally, I think it’s really cool. It’s good for the school and it is good for the spirit in the school,” says Galluzzo. 

With Raja and Brennan’s success, teammates recognize what makes them successful. “They have chemistry,” Berggren says.” Every great team needs to be mentally and physically prepared, and they are.”

Despite their success, the doubles partners appreciate their season for more than just their run at state. “It sucks though that tennis is such an individual sport and that our entire team couldn’t qualify, as everyone worked so incredibly hard all season,” says Brennan. 

The duo went 1-2 at state, beating a doubles pair from Sandburg in the first round of the consolation bracket 6-3, 4-6, 10-5. They lost their next match to Stevenson 6-2, 6-2. “We really fought for every point and had a pretty satisfying win in the second match. State was the best way we could have ended our season and I’m proud of all the hard work that brought us there today,” says Raja.

 

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