GOSHEN — Chandni Sharma won the decisive and only match on the court Monday to lift Wilmington to the SBAAC American Division championship.
“This really meant a lot to the seniors, who wanted to secure their legacy and commitment to excellence,” WHS head coach Doug Coooper. “They have set the bar very high for our program, and we have lots of young players who have already demonstrated the commitment to put in the work and carry the mantle. We have the hardest working group of underclassmen I’ve seen since Jenna (Taylor) and Claire (Burns) came on board.”
With the match delayed last week in the second set, Sharma breezed through the third set and defeated Faith Pitts 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1. The second set was tied 5-5 and Pitts was serving up 40-15. Pitts won the second set in a 7-2 tiebreaker but Sharma took control of the third set early and propelled WHS to a fourth straight league title.
“As for the outcome of the championship match, both players came out and played really well under tremendous pressure,” said Cooper. “Both Chandni and Faith had early service games broken, a testament to how much pressure they were under. Chandni was able to settle in and remain just steady enough to keep Faith at bay. Their games are so similar that at times they seemed interchangeable. Both players are very effective third singles players and very tough to beat.”
Sharma’s win puts Wilmington at 9-1 in the regular season and Goshen at 8-2. With the Hurricane victory in the league tournament, WHS gets the nod as the SBAAC American Division champion.
“Hats off to Goshen on an impressive season,” said Cooper. “No surprise tbe Palafox twins made it to Round 3 at Sectionals playing doubles. They are good players and real competitors and great kids. Coach (Kayla) Pollack has done a great job turning around the program and they have the core of the team coming back next season.”
Burns is the only member of the WHS team who’ll be playing in the district tournament so Cooper and the Hurricane team members are enjoying a victory that may well be the most-satisfying championship of the last four.
”This is the most competitive the division has been for years,” said Cooper. “When we won in 2018, it was really just us and Goshen, and they had dominated in 2017. Just as in 2018, it came down to a match at Goshen on the third singles court and we were fortunate to have really mentally tough players ready to compete. This year, Batavia made their presence known and made things really interesting down the stretch. Clinton-Massie continues to improve. This is an exciting division to compete in. We all make each other better … which is exactly what you want for a competitive conference.”
October 11, 2021
@Goshen High School
Wilmington 3 Goshen 2
1: Claire Burns def Blanca Palafox 6-0, 6-0
2: Jenna Taylor def Heidy Palafox 6-0, 6-1
3: Chandni Sharma def Faith Pitts 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1
1: Cary Holliday, Layna Holmes lost to Adalyn Middick, Danica Kollmorgan 3-6, 1-6
2: Josie Heys, Reagan Henry lost to Karley Cooper, Maggie Hammond 3-6, 3-6