The Deerfield Varsity girls piled into the van at 7AM Saturday to hit the road for Andover. This would be the team’s first appearance in the NEPSAC Championship match. The weather would prove to be even more hostile than it was for Saturday’s semifinal. After Andover edged Deerfield by one point just a month prior, the team was acutely aware of the uphill battle ahead.
Deerfield’s double teams hit the courts like they’d be fired out of a cannon. Isha Rao and Hunter Pulliam played their final match as a team and left it all on the court. Their intensity and precision never wavered as they earned Deerfield its first win of the day 8-2. On court two, Natalia Sanders and Olivia Waterfall found success with pace and aggressive net play. This pair earned Deefield a second point with an 8-1 victory. Olivia and Natalia were undefeated in doubles for the entirety of the 2022 season!
After Daphne Gavros and Avery Brooker traded the lead with their stout Andover opponents twice, the girls in blue earned the third doubles win. The day was tipped in Deerfield’s favor 2-1 entering the singles phase. This story mirrored the arc of the match Deerfield ultimately lost to Andover in April. The team would need to flip the script at singles to win the title.
Spectators didn’t need to wait long to see the change Big Green hoped for. Olivia Waterfall played a measured and methodical match at fourth singles, reversing her result at Andover one month before and earning a 2 and 1 win. Meanwhile, Hunter Pulliam faced off with another Andover player who came out on top during the teams’ last meeting. Hunter paired power with consistency to earn a straight sets win and draw the team within a single point of the title.
While Avery Brooker and Natalia Sanders were both up a set and closing on the clinch, it was captain, Isha Rao, who had the honor of sealing the championship win. Facing fierce resistance from the other side of the net, Isha maintained a break lead throughout the first and second set. With teammates and spectators looking on, Isha served a winner on match point!
Deerfield’s varsity tennis girls were proud and more than a little excited to bring the title trophy down Albany Road Sunday afternoon. Thank you to everyone who supported our team during this exciting and fun season. We wish our seniors a bittersweet goodbye and look forward to another great season in 2023.
- Isha Rao, W 6-4, 6-3
- Natalia Sanders, 7-7 (7-5), 3-5 (clinched)
- Hunter Pulliam, W 6-4, 6-2
- Olivia Waterfall, W 6-2, 6-1
- Daphne Gavros, L 0-6, 2-6
- Avery Brooker, 7-5, 2-1 (clinched)
Order of finish: 4, 3, 5, 1
- Rao Pulliam, W 8-2
- Sanders/ Waterfall, W 8-1
- Gavros/ Brooker, L 5-8
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3