Girls Tennis team places second at regionals, junior Emily Chiasson finishes first in singles

The girls varsity tennis team placed second at the regional competition, Oct. 8. Junior Emily Chiasson placed first in singles and the team of sophomore Saraphina Wambi and junior Lydia Peng placed fourth in doubles.

Junior+Emily+Chiasson+returns+the+ball+in+a+tennis+match%2C+Sept.+20.

Norah Alasmar

Junior Emily Chiasson returns the ball in a tennis match, Sept. 20.

Jack Nitz, Sports Editor

Coming into regionals hot off a first place finish in singles at the Eastern Kansas League tournament, junior Emily Chiasson said she was confident and prepared for regionals. 

“Winning at EKLs gave me confidence building up to regionals,” Chiasson said. “[EKLs] was definitely easier than regionals, but it still helped me feel prepared and ready to play.”

Chiasson repeated the first-place finish at EKLs as she became the regional champion for singles. She said the path to the championship wasn’t easy, but ultimately she felt great about winning. 

“It was really exciting to win regionals and having all my teammates there to support me made it even better. There were many close matches, including the championship match, so it was very stressful toward the end,” Chiasson said.

Chiasson attributed her success to her ability to stay confident and not lose focus when things weren’t going her way. 

“I feel like staying positive and not getting negative when I lost a point helped me win,” Chiasson said. 

Junior Lydia Peng and Sophomore Saraphina Wambi placed fourth in doubles at regionals. Peng said the fourth-place finish was a testament to all the time and effort she and Wambi put in throughout the season.

“[Regionals] was a very rewarding experience after this entire season of working hard,” Peng said.

Peng said she and Wambi make a good doubles team because of their communication and the different skills they bring to the game.

“I feel like me and Saraphina’s team communication is really good. We are really good at keeping each other up and motivated,” Peng said. “I feel like our games are also very compatible because she is better at the baseline and I’m better at the net.”

The Huskies placed second as a team, however Chiasson said the team originally thought they placed fourth.

“[Finding out we won regionals] was really exciting, but was also weird. Originally, we thought we got fourth because they gave the [second-place] trophy to Blue Valley, but we found out we got second over text which wasn’t the same, but still exciting,” Chiasson said.

With their top finishes at regionals, all three girls qualified for the 6A state tournament. Chiasson said she is planning on putting in extra work with friends and coaches in order to reach her goal of a top finish at state.

“I’m going to practice a lot with my friends and work with coaches outside of school,” Chiasson said. “My goal obviously is to win at state, but I’m focused on finishing top four in singles.”

As for Peng and Wambi, Peng said they are going over what went well and what went poorly at regionals as a way to know what to change for state.

“To prepare for state we are reflecting on what we did bad and good at regionals and working on what we have to improve on. For us specifically, it was just being consistent on the baseline so we’re going into state with that as a focus,” Peng said.

Chiasson, Peng and Wambi will compete at the state tournament, Oct. 15 and 16 in Wichita at the Riverside Tennis Complex.