Win against O’Dowd sets tone for tennis NCS run


Kasra Panahi

Anna Rende serves the ball to Bishop O’Dowd at College of Marin, Nov. 10, 2022. Girls varsity tennis will face University for the North Coast Section final.

By William Mueth

As the fall sports season came to a close, the girls varsity tennis team defeated Bishop O’Dowd last Thursday in a 4-3 victory. 

Led by coaches Drew Mathieson and Crissie Costamagna, the team fought against Bishop O’Dowd for its first North Coast Section Division II match. Coming off the MCAL championship matches the week before, the team was lively and optimistic prior to the game. 

“We’ve been getting better all season. As long as we play confidently, we will win,” Laila Elkhoury, a junior, said.

The game was off to a strong start for the Bulls. 

Playing at four singles was Katie Warrin, a freshman, who used consistent forehands both cross court and down the line to take the first set 6-1. Applying the same consistency to the next set, Warrin again won 6-1 to quickly take the match.

Despite having good communication, doubles partners Alexandra Zak and Sophie Liu lost their first set after experiencing difficulties with their pacing. Confidence at the net tied with strong groundstrokes allowed them to perform better in the second set, but unforced errors led to them losing 3-6.

Meanwhile, first singles player Anna Rende was able to capitalize on mistakes made by her opponent with approach shots to take her first set 6-0. Despite losing some points to serves in her second set, she was able to control the tempo of the games and hit numerous winners, allowing her to win the set and, consequently, the match. 

Spirit seemed to play an important part in the team’s success.

“I love the positive team environment,” Rende said after winning her match. “Everyone is supportive of each other and it really makes a difference in how we play.”

“Our team gets along really well with each other,” Emma Casaudoumecq, a junior, added. “We push each other, but we are all friends.”

The team then defeated Piedmont 4-3 on Saturday to advance to the NCS finals, set for Thursday against No. 1 University. But as the season comes to a close, many of the athletes on the team plan to return. 

“I’m definitely going to play again next year,” Elkhoury said. “It’s been such a great experience. I can’t wait to do it again.”