The Varsity Tennis team entered the championship match sporting an untarnished record in Friends Schools League play, racking up a perfect ten wins– but the job was not finished.
As impressive as an undefeated season is, it would not be complete without the Championship plaque. A championship, the program’s second in three years, and seventh overall was the inescapable raison d’être. It was ideal weather in the days leading up to the match between the Germantown Friends School Tigers and the George School Cougars, the autumn sun illuminated and reflected orange hues onto the court, perhaps a good omen for those in the orange and blue.
The Tigers struck first with wins from First Doubles Elie Bekelman ’27 and Maggie Ruger ’26 (6-3, 6-2) and Second Singles player Lucy Gerber ’25 (6-0, 6-2) both winning in just two sets. The Tigers made quick work with their first two matches, but if the Tigers or spectators thought that 2-0 lead would mean for an early afternoon, they were sorely mistaken. The Cougars refused to give up the fight, and at the conclusion of the First Singles match, featuring GFS’ Madalyn Shen ’25 and GS’ Leena Kuittinen ’24, and Second Doubles, Sasha Fishilevich ’24 and Gabi Rosenberg ’24 for the Tigers battling Katharine Coleman ’25 and Christina Makris ’26 for the Cougars, the score had leveled at 2-2. Only Claire Meyer ’24 (pictured below) and Maya Zhitomorsky ’25 competing in Third Singles were left on the court.
The crowd gathered around the center tennis courts as nervous whispers traveled through the air between points as each player won one of the first two sets. “I definitely felt the pressure,” said Meyer ’24 after the match. “I had a feeling, based on the line-ups, that it might come down to me.”
In moments of immense pressure, with a near-perfect season on the line, it is hard to be the last one standing on the court, especially when entering a tie-breaking third set. If you have seen Meyer play this fall, her demeanor at this moment was no different than in any other match. In the third set, arguably the most important set of the entire season, Meyer showed sheer tenacity and came out with a 6-4 victory. With the team on her shoulders, she made the Tigers’ champion dreams a reality and the team eked out the 3-2 win over George School.
Meyer ’24 added, “I knew if I stayed focused on winning the next point and kept thinking about the team, that I could win.”
The Tigers wrapped up the league season 11-0, the first undefeated season in over a decade, the last coming in 2011. With their second FSL title in just three years, the Tigers have ensured they are a household name when it comes to FSL playoff season.