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The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

Making a Racket at State

The Girls Tennis team wins the state championship for the first time in 38 years
Tyler He
Senior Simone Sah serves the ball in a match on Sept. 21 against Ladue. This match prepared her for her eventual victory at state.
Junior Riley Zimmerman and Senior Simone Sah congratulate Sophomore Kathrine Nguyen after she wins her singles match.

Swish. Hit. Swish. Hit. Swish. Hit. The methodical rhythm of a typical tennis match is what fills the air on a tense afternoon in Springfield, Mo. On the court, sophomore Katherine Nguyen battles against a student from St. Michael the Archangels. 

This is just not a regular tennis match, this match will determine the girls tennis state championship. The tennis team practiced daily after school since August with the hopes of making it to the finals. 

“It’s very time consuming for everyone. It’s kinda hard to keep up with homework,” senior Simone Sah said.

Holding a second place title from the previous year, the team was motivated for a second chance at the gold. 

“Everyone was pretty nervous because we got second place last year and we really wanted to get first place. Especially for me as a senior, I really wanted to end my year strong,” Sah said.

After arriving in Springfield, the challenge began. Playing consecutive matches, the team was left with no room for error. 

“I think the road to finals was more of an emotional challenge than a physical challenge,” Nguyen said. 

In the semifinal round, the team played doubles matches against Ursuline Academy. The three Clayton teams defeated their rivals and moved on to singles. Needing to win two more to qualify to the next round the girls secured their spot in the finals.

“Our coach told us to, ‘live in the moment,’” Sah said. 

Inspired by his words and fueled by their closeness to victory, the team won all three of their doubles matches. After a victory in singles from Sah, the fate of the team rested on Nguyen’s match.

Swish. Hit. Swish. Hit. Swish. Hit.

After a long rally, the rhythm was broken. Nguyen’s opponent made a mistake.

“I felt so confused, but soon realized what just happened,” Nguyen said.

The Clayton High School girls tennis team had just won state for the first time in 38 years. 

Sah and junior Riley Zimmerman, who were watching the match, rushed the court to congratulate their teammate. The three embraced and cheered for their new title: State Champions.

“I’m still smiling from the fact that we won, it was just a rush of excitement and joy,” Sah said.

Since joining the team her freshman year, Sah has been grateful to be a part of the team’s growth. Although they began not “really known for being the best tennis team ever,” winning the state title was a moment of pride.

“Every moment spent with the team was so special,” Nguyen said. “Eating meals with teammates, talking to coaches or being persuaded into taking what seemed like a million photos by parents strengthened the bond throughout the team.”

The connections built resulted in a bittersweet feeling for seniors as they approached the end of their time on the team.

“I feel sad about leaving. Tennis has always been a part of me, something I can look forward to,” Sah said.

Just as the rhythm of a tennis match must be interrupted by an eventual victor, so must the rhythm of life. Although this match may be over, another awaits.

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JiaLi Deck
JiaLi Deck, Editor-in-Chief
JiaLi Deck is a senior. When she first joined the Globe her sophomore year, she couldn't have ever imagined being Editor in Chief; however, as time went on she realized how passionate she is about writing and designing for the Globe. In the past two years, she has gotten to write stories which have made an difference and design pages of a nationally distributed magazine. She is immensely proud to get to lead of such a fantastic publication and she hopes to continue Globe's important mission in her final year on staff. In addition to Globe, JiaLi participates in Speech & Debate and is a 1st company member of the pre-professional dance division at COCA. She is also a commission graphic artist who designs T-Shirts, logos, and other digital projects.
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