Big Red girls’ varsity tennis opened its season with a hard-fought home win yesterday against one of its toughest opponents, Episcopal Academy. Lawrenceville Head Coach Kim McMenamin gives us the inside scoop.
What a win and season opener for girls’ varsity tennis Sept. 14! Episcopal always goes toe-to-toe with us and already had three wins under its belt, so Big Red tennis took to the courts for its first match knowing we had a challenge on our hands. We played the Inter-Ac format: three singles and four doubles, played simultaneously and each match earning one point.
Lawrenceville’s co-captain/four-year varsity player Aarushi Attray ’23 set the tone at the number one singles spot. She played a hard-hitting and talented opponent, but ultimately bested her by playing that decisive extra ball with her own power, hustle and finesse 6-1, 6-2.
Next to finish was third singles – Katelyn Ni ‘26 posted another point for Lawrenceville (6-2, 6-3) by playing mature and gutsy tennis through a tight two sets.
Two Third/Second Form doubles wins brought Lawrenceville to the overall match win - Chelsea Lim ‘24/Emily Lee ‘26 and Emily Piggee ‘24/Mahika Kasarabada ‘26 clinched fourth and third doubles with their superior power, net game, and shot-making.
Even though the team win was already secured, the remaining matches continued to battle. Next to finish was the second singles position, played by Sophie Bilanin ‘26. After dropping the first set 2-6, Bilanin fought back hard in the second set but eventually succumbed 5-7 to her intense and powerful counterpart.
First doubles also posted a loss - the Fifth Form/Second Form duo of Maple Kusolphatna and Sienna Kulynych showed moments of greatness but were bested in a close two set bout 6-7 (2), 3-6.
Last to finish was the Fifth Form duo at second doubles Chintamaneni/Phalen. Anushka and Malin battled a strong Episcopal team for every point in their over two-hour match, gutting out the win 7-5, 5-7, 13-11.
Overall, this match was a hard-earned 5-2 win for the squad, and one that bodes well for the season to come. The team is back in action on Monday with a small seven player squad at the Mercer County Girls' Tennis Tournament, Mercer County Park Tennis Center (West Windsor, N.J.). Competition runs from 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Lawrenceville 5, Episcopal Academy 2
1. Aarushi Attray ‘23 (Lawrenceville) def. Kamora Helton, 6-1, 6-2
2. Avery Morris (Episcopal) def. Sophie Bilanin ‘26, 6-2, 7-5
3. Katelyn Ni ‘26 (Lawrenceville) def. Carter Yearley, 6-2, 6-3
1. Maggie Dugery/Michelle Jiang (Episcopal) def. Maple Kusolphatna ‘23/Sienna Kulynychv ‘26, 7-6 (2), 6-3
2. Malin Phalen ‘23/ Anushka Chintamenaneni ‘23 (Lawrenceville) def. Maggie Lo/Riya Mukherjee, 7-5, 5-7, 13-11
3. Mahika Kasarabada ‘26/Emily Piggee ‘24 (awrenceville) def. Velina Fuezue/Shelby Pasternack, 6-4, 6-4
4. Chelsea Lim ‘24/Emily Lee ‘26 (Lawrenceville) def. Sage Ingle/Amelia Wandrasch, 6-4, 6-2
For additional information, contact Lisa M. Gillard H'17, director of public relations, at email@example.com.