Gruelling points, long rallies and action-packed matches were contested within the eight artificial grass courts at the rooftop of the International School of Manila (ISM). The three-day tournament consisted of round robin matches followed by a consolation and a championship match. Freshman Nick Cosgrove said that “playing on the grass courts in Manila was a lot of fun because it was a different surface than most of us were used to, and although it made things like serve return more difficult, it was a really fun experience.” Captains Stefan Kingsley and Hanson Cho led the boys’ team, while Paola Hoffer was the lone captain of the girls’ squad. Boys’ Line up: Singles 1: Stefan Kingsley Singles 2: Alex Makatsaria Singles 3: Hanson Cho Doubles 1: Cesar Cernuda and Hiroto Kozue Doubles 2: Nick Cosgrove and Michael Chu Alternate: Ethan Fisher Girls’ Line up: Singles 1: Hayden Siegfried Singles 2: Namrata Ray Singles 3: Kaitlyn Crawford Doubles 1: Zoe Adamopoulos and Paola Hoffer Doubles 2: Emma Blair Hall and Emma Park Alternate: Gaby Hungate Day 1 The boys’ team had a challenging first day as they played Taipei American School (TAS) and Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS). The morning match between TAS saw the SAS boys down 0-2 after third Singles player Hanson Cho squandered a 3-2 (40-15) lead to lose the match 3-8. Second doubles of Nick Cosgrove and Michael Chu lost a close match at 6-8. First and second singles players – Stefan Kingsley and Alex Makatsaria – won 8-7 and 8-1, while second doubles team lost 5-8 after leading the match.
In the afternoon, Hanson Cho, Nick Cosgrove and Michael Chu had another loss early in the tournament. First doubles pairing of Cesar Cernuda and Hiroto Kozue, as well as number one singles player Stefan Kingsley, fought back from the brink of defeat to narrowly win in tiebreaks (8-7). However, with another loss from second singles player Makatsaria, SAS lost the tie 2 to 3. In contrast, the girls’ team had a much easier first day against International School of Bangkok (ISB) and TAS. With two convincing 5-0 wins in the morning and afternoon, the SAS girls raced to a 2-0 record in the round robin stages. Number one singles, Hayden Siegfried, didn’t lose a single game on the first day, winning both her matches at 8-0. Namrata Ray and Kaitlyn Crawford also dominated, failing to concede more that three games. Zoe Adamopoulos and Paola Hoffer had tougher doubles matches, winning 8-3 and 8-6, while Hall and Park won 8-2 and 8-1. Day 2 The second day had better results for both the boys’ and girls’ teams. The SAS boys won 5-0 against ISKL and in the evening they beat ISB 3-2. Ethan Fisher subbed into the second doubles along with Michael Chu to easily defeat their opponents. The girls also triumphed with a 5-0 sweep against JIS and a 3-2 win over their rivals ISM. The girls’ match against ISM went on until 9 p.m. Siegfried played the deciding match of the tie. After battling it out, she finally won the lengthy match against the ISM number one singles player in a tiebreak (8-7). Day 3 The final day of IASAS saw the SAS boys play Manila in the morning round, while the girls played Kuala Lumpur. The girls had yet another easy triumph as they took out ISKL 5-0. The boys, however, came on the losing end. Hanson started the tie with a comfortable win, as did first doubles players Cernuda and Kozue. This brought the SAS boys 2-0 up in the tie. However, it all went downhill from there as Makatsaria blew off a 7-2 lead to lose in a tiebreak, 7-8. Chu and Cosgrove lost 5-8, while Kingsley got crushed by ISM singles number one 1-8. The boys played first in the afternoon session with the consolation match against JIS. Second singles, third singles and second doubles all went on court at the same time. Chu and Cosgrove came out of the courts first as they raced away to get our first point 8-1. Shortly after Makatsaria got his revenge against Harrison with an 8-4 win, while Cho failed to get revenge against Diego with a 4-8 loss. It looked bad from here for the SAS boys as first doubles Cernuda and Kozue were defeated 5-8 and first singles, Kingsley was 4-6 down. However, Kingsley used the crowd and his teammates to overcome the brink of defeat and bring home the bronze medal match with yet another tiebreaker. Senior Ethan Fisher said, “For tennis, winning as an individual doesn’t mean anything. Individual performance will always be second to the collective effort of the team. Although, Stefan was able to pull the decider for us, the win from our doubles two team was very important as well to get us the bronze medal.” The girls went into the championship match as the favorites of the match as they were undefeated in the round robin stages. However just like the round robin match between ISM, the championship game looked to be a very tight contest. The girls went to two matches each with wins from doubles one and two, Adamopoulos and Hoffer and Blair Hall and Park. The losses came from the singles players as both, Crawford and Ray lost close matches against their strong ISM competitors. It came down to the wire for the girls’ match as well. It was all up to Siegfried. At six games all, it was anyone’s championship. With IASAS being hosted in ISM, the crowd were really behind their singles player Sami Um. A greatly battled match was sadly lost 6-8 by our number one SAS player, Siegfried. Captain Paola Hoffer had a few words about her last season. “I’m very proud of my team’s efforts this year. Everyone worked hard throughout the season and gave it their very best at IASAS. We as a team were all disappointed to have lost against ISM in the finals, but we nonetheless stuck through with it and moved forward from the loss. It didn’t make us weaker or think any less of ourselves. Next year, though I will not be there, the gold will once again be up for grabs, and I know my girls will make me proud.” The girls picked up the silver medal, while the boys were delighted with the nail biting finish to secure the bronze medal.