Girls tennis looks back on successful season, looks ahead to NCS final


Kasra Panahi

Sophie Liu and Alexandra Zak face Bishop O’Dowd at College of Marin, Nov. 10, 2022. Girls varsity tennis has advanced to the North Coast Section final.

By Gigi Hohenrieder

The girls tennis team has had a great run during the 2022 season. 

With the addition of a junior varsity team, the team has been sectioned with 24 girls on varsity and 14 on JV. 

“It has been interesting to watch the team change, as well as reconnect with people from last year,” said Mirabel Arlander, who plays varsity.

The tennis season has been a great way for connection between the grades, as well as a great opportunity for the freshman to connect with the other girls over a shared passion.

Although the team has changed a lot from last year, losing their number one player, the team is “definitely still strong and competitive,” Arlander said. 

The team has won all of its season matches except for two matches against Redwood and one against University. It completed the regular season as the runner-up for the MCAL title.

The team’s strongest competition has been Redwood and Tam, which it is currently ranked in between, with Redwood having lots of depth on its team and Tam entering the season with strong freshmen. But Branson’s dynamics are shifting.

“The seniors definitely played a large part on our team and in the matches, but the new seniors are doing a great job filling that role,” Arlander said when describing the new team. She added that the freshmen have also been a great addition to the team by “bringing in team spirit and fresh energy.”

This is Crissie Costamagna’s fourth year coaching Branson tennis, but her diverse background of experiences allows her to bring a lot to the table. Costamagna played tennis at UC Davis and has coached the Special Olympics for 20 years. She also volunteers on the sectional board and chairs a national committee for tennis.

As November began, the team focused on the North Coast Section Division II playoffs. They know going back-to-back is a tall task, but the team is excited to put its best foot forward and rise to the challenge of the tough competition for the final on Thursday.

“Although [tennis] is an individual sport, when you come together as a team, it creates a sense of community that truly relies on each individual’s character and ability, and I really believe that we have been able to build that strong connection on this team,” Arlander said.

Costamagna wants the players to be able to look back on the season with positive views toward the team’s success and relationships.

“I can teach them tennis, but what I really find important is them being able to work together as a team,” she said.