Sports

Marshall Tennis Team, Individuals Vie for Firsts at State Tournaments

The George C. Marshall High School girls varsity tennis team packed a series of punches last week, sending the girls to their first-ever appearance on the regional level.P5080113

The George C. Marshall High School girls varsity tennis team packed a series of punches last week, sending the girls to their first-ever appearance on the regional level.

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MARSHALL’S FABY CHAILLO (left) and Ana Dominguez dominate the doubles court together. (Photo: Courtesy Robin Crider)

Monday’s Northern Region girls tennis individual finals pitted Marshall’s top-seeded player, freshman Faby Chaillo, against previous regional champion, senior Yilan Zhang of Westfield.

Chaillo captured the regional crown in two sets, 6-2, 6-2.

Chaillo repeated her success on court alongside second-seed Ana Dominguez, wiping out the competition in the doubles tournament final.

On May 11, Marshall hosted Washington-Lee, with a clean win and all singles matches going for the Marshall Statesmen.

The next day saw the start of the individual tournament, with Chaillo winning her first match against Robinson’s Xiang. Chaillo advanced to Thursday’s semifinals, soundly defeating Yorktown’s top-ranked Emily Flickinger.

Chaillo and Dominguez continued their doubles ascendancy by wiping the court clean against West Potomac.

Marshall’s success came on the heels of a Liberty District blowout on May 9, snagging the title by going 13-1, with Thomas Jefferson in second and Woodson in third.

Marshall’s singles tennis players received the same postseason honors at the district level as they had at regionals, being named to the first team: number one Chaillo, number two Dominguez, number four Amanda Crider and number six Kelly Crider.

First team doubles went to number one, Chaillo-Dominguez. Honorable mentions went to Astrid Adam, Sarah Doan and Lauren Hopwood.

Chaillo, a freshman, entered the district tournament seeded in first place, having an undefeated singles record during regular season play. When she partnered with Dominguez, the two were also seeded first in doubles with an unblemished record.

Marshall girls tennis Coach Robin Crider said the team has become “very competitive” over the past four years. Crider has volunteered for two years, taking the position as coach this year.

“The Liberty District has the strongest teams in the state, with five teams that could really compete,” Crider told the News-Press. “This year we’ve had great matches that have just exceeded all of my expectations.”

Crider praised the entire team for its carrying Marshall to the regional level with an overall record of 15 wins and two losses.

“We have some strong individuals, but in the end it’s a team that wins the points,” she said.

Chaillo’s ability to “read the ball” and “play smart when her opponents take a risk” make her a formidable force for the upcoming State Individual Tournament, to be held June 4 – 6 at Lewinsville Park in McLean, said Crider.

“When I first heard we were getting this star player, I thought, well we hear that all the time,” Crider admitted. “Watching her play, I said to myself, I bet she’s going to be one of the best in the region.”

“She loves to compete,” said Crider of the rising tennis star.

Chaillo practices up to three hours daily at the Four Star Academy in Fairfax, alongside fellow regional high school star tennis players.

Crider also highlighted sophomore Dominguez’s “great strides” this year.

“She’s very creative on the court, and is learning how to harness her talents very well,” said Crider.

Crider’s own children, senior Amanda and junior Kelly, who are two of the team’s captains, have made significant progress over the year as well, both receiving regional and district honors.

The girls travel to their first state tournament, playing as a team against perennial state champion, Mills E. Godwin next Tuesday, May 26.

“They’ve been state champions for a while now, with all sorts of recognition from the state,” Crider explained. “They’re the favorite going in to Tuesday’s matches.”

She added, “But they’ve never met Marshall.”

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