For the fourth year in a row, Champlain Valley Union High School girls tennis won against sixth-seeded South Burlington in the Division I championship.
Friday’s showdown was the sixth year the two teams were head-to-head in the championship, and CVU won big at 7-0.
All five Redhawks singles players and both doubles teams won their matches, extending the team’s winning streak to 66 games.
The championship was decided after CVU won the first four games, but that did not deter the athletes from bringing their all to the court.
Singles players Stephanie Joseph, Sophie Dauerman, Kendall Blanck, Renee Dauerman and Corina Gorman all won their matches in two sets. Doubles duo Courtney Vincent and Ella Kinney also won their match in two sets.
Maddie Huber and Megan Watson were the final doubles pair to take the court. They lost their first match but won the second two, delivering an undefeated championship run to CVU.
The duo was up against South Burlington rivals Helen Bujold and Eve Heroux.
“The goal was to get this doubles win right here for them. Maddie and Megan have been playing this doubles team for the past three years and every time it’s a loss,” said Joseph, one of the three CVU team captains. “And having this come out as a win, that’s what makes it a team sport, honestly, being able to cheer for them during that.”
Bujold and Heroux took the first set 6-3, Huber and Watson then prevailed in the second, 6-4, before winning the final matchbreaker 10-6.
“It feels amazing,” Huber said. “This is our last time playing on a tennis team, so going into the match, we were all in. We’ve been working for this moment for a long time, and it’s really good we are here.
“We never size up our opponents, so we’ve gone into every match just trying to play our best tennis every time,” Huber said. “Just playing our best tennis has really worked for us.”
As the season comes to a close, five seniors will leave behind a team of 11 ninth and tenth graders.
The graduates say they are leaving their younger teammates in good hands. Joseph acknowledged the hours that Coach Amy deGroot and her husband and Assistant Coach Ian deGroot, have put into the program to make it into the dynasty it has become.
Those five seniors were a big part of this season’s success, Amy deGroot said, describing them as “extraordinary” team members.
“Their leadership has been extraordinary. The past four years they have played so well. It’s fabulous – this team is so mature and committed to work hard at tennis,” she said.
Huber, who also serves as a captain, hopes the younger players “carry with them the drive that it takes to get this team to the success that it does.”
Her advice after their big win? “Work hard in the off-season and realize that nothing will be handed to you. And, with hard work, you can accomplish anything.”
Singles: Stephanie Joseph (CVU) def. Kailey Yang (SB) 6-1, 6-2; Sophie Dauerman (CVU) def. Sophie Bujold (SB) 6-3, 6-4; Kendall Blanck (CVU) def. Kailei Eustis (SB) 6-0, 6-0; Renee Dauerman (CVU) def. Rayna Brosseau (SB) 6-0, 6-1; Corina Gorman (CVU) def. Nisha Shah (SB) 6-2, 6-2.
Doubles: Maddie Huber/Megan Watson (CVU) def. Helen Bujold/Eve Heroux (SB) 3-6, 6-4, 10-6; Courtney Vincent/Ella Kinney (CVU) def. Julia Crocker/Katrina Khosravi (SB) 6-0, 6-0.