Westborough girls tennis heads to state semifinals for third consecutive year

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Westborough girls tennis heads to state semifinals for third consecutive year
Westborough has advanced to the state semifinals. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

WESTBOROUGH – Westborough’s tennis dominance continues.

On June 5, the No. 3 Westborough Rangers girls tennis team defeated the visiting No. 6 Wayland Warriors, 5-0, in the quarterfinals. With the win, the Rangers advanced to the MIAA Division 2 semifinals for the third consecutive year, putting the team one win away from another state finals appearance.

“It feels great every year because you just don’t know what’s going to happen. Every year it’s a different set of girls. I want it for myself, and I want it for them too. This one, I wasn’t sure, I had different levels of confidence – we’ve had a lot of injuries and girls in and out of the lineup – and I’m super happy we did it. The ultimate goal is to win it all, but getting to the Final Four is a great threshold,” Westborough Head Coach Scott Henderson told the Community Advocate after the win.

Westborough girls tennis heads to state semifinals for third consecutive year
Diya Bhattacharya eyes the ball. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

Though the team swept Wayland, winning all five matches, the competition was fierce. With matches spanning almost three hours in 80-degree heat, each athlete’s will was tested. Gina Hajiseyedjavady, Westborough’s No. 1 singles player, was the last athlete remaining on the court, topping Wayland’s Olivia Todd (7-5, 6-4) in one of the playoff meeting’s closer matchups.

“I’m super happy for Gina. She started the season with a lot of wins and the second half of the season she suffered through a lot of losses – she goes out there and plays the best player on the other team every match. It can be difficult and frustrating. She did a great job solidifying this win today,” said Henderson.

Westborough girls tennis heads to state semifinals for third consecutive year
Isabel Feldman sends the ball back across the court. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

While Hajiseyedjavady led the team, the Rangers were solid down the lineup. Diya Bhattacharya, Westborough’s No. 2 singles player, outmatched Kyra Spooner, defeating her 6-1, 6-0. Westborough No. 3 singles player Isabel Feldman earned a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Selena Liu.

In a whirlwind, come-from-behind match, Westborough’s No. 2 doubles team – Ella Glasgow and Nicole Nguyen – took down Ava Knourenko and Emi Niimi (7-6 (5), 6-1) after Wayland led for most of the first set. Sahasra Kommineni and Elena Chen, the Rangers’ No. 1 doubles pairing, were first off the court on Wednesday afternoon, defeating their counterparts, Arya Samaratunga and Yumi Niimi, 6-1, 6-3.

Westborough girls tennis heads to state semifinals for third consecutive year
Gina Hajiseyedjavady strikes the ball. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

“I’m proud of everyone today,” Henderson said warmly.

The Rangers will play the winner of the June 7 quarterfinal matchup between No. 2 Longmeadow and No. 10 Sharon. Should Longmeadow advance to play Westborough, it would be a rematch of one of the Rangers’ closest matches all season. In the prior May 3 match, which Longmeadow took 3-2, all three of the singles matchups went to three sets, with play ending around 8 p.m. as darkness crept in.

Westborough girls tennis heads to state semifinals for third consecutive year
No. 2 doubles duo Ella Glasgow and Nicole Nguyen celebrate. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

“That match could’ve gone either way. It’s going to go our way this time,” Henderson said.

Westborough girls tennis heads to state semifinals for third consecutive year
Elena Chen gets the ball over the net. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

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