Re-alignment Brought More Area Champions

By John Packett, RTA Contributing Writer

Re-alignment Brought More Area Champions

Thanks to re-alignment by the Virginia High School League last year, the number of team and individual tennis champions in our area increased by leaps and bounds this season.

The biggest winners were the Mills Godwin and Midlothian girls’ teams, and the Maggie Walker Governors’ School boys’ team, each of which claimed championships in their respective divisions.

In addition, three boys and one girl won individual crowns in singles and two girls’ doubles teams finished as champions.

Although it proved to be a huge headache for the local newspaper trying to keep up with all the teams and tournaments, the divisions (that were separated by school-size) gave more players more chances to take home trophies.

On the private-school side, St. Christopher’s won its first Prep League championship since 1998, edging Woodberry Forest and Trinity Episcopal for the title when the No. 2 doubles team of Matthew Fernandez and  Baxter Carter emerged victorious in the last match.

nina tennis picThe most prestigious championships went to Nina Sorkin of Deep Run and Shyam Venkatasubramanian (or Venkat as he is known) of Henrico.

Sorkin, who played No. 1 singles and doubles for the Wildcats, didn’t drop a set all season in finishing with a 27-0 singles record as a freshman. The 15-year-old teamed with senior Caroline Mosberg to add the 5A doubles title.

Not satisfied with winning the high school crowns, she added the Davenport City women’s singles championship in the same week.

Venkat had a much tougher time but the senior completed a 25-0 season by wrapping up the boys 5A singles title.

Hanover High School’s Danny Polk claimed the 4A singles title, capping an Danny Spring 2013 Local tennis articleoutstanding season, while freshman Karl Katlaps of MWGS eased to the boys 2A championship.

Julia Jackson and Karen Pak of Glen Allen gave the area yet another individual title when they won the girls 4A doubles crown.

In team play, Mills Godwin nosed out Deep Run in the 5A South region tournament and went on to easily capture the state tournament. With no superstars in the lineup, the Eagles won their ninth title in the past 13 years and 11th overall for the school.

Godwin had lost three times to Deep Run before ending the Wildcats’ season in the regionals. In the championship match, the Eagles disposed of George Marshall (Fairfax) 5-1.

Two area teams battled it out for the girls’ 4A championship, with Midlothian overcoming Glen Allen 5-1 in the final. It was the first state title for the Trojans since they captured the Group AA crown in 1986.

Finally, MWGS, led by Katlaps at No. 1 singles, defeated George Mason (Falls Church) 5-1 in the 2A boys’ title match.

The Deep Run boys’ attempt to win their fourth crown in five years fell just short, as the Wildcats were beaten by Thomas Jefferson School for Science and Technology (Alexandria) 5-1 in the final.

All in all, it was quite a spring season for the old Central Region, with more champions than ever earning VHSL hardware in the final week of school.