Girls varsity tennis team wins GCC Championship

2022 varsity tennis seniors. Photo courtesy of Scott Gloger.

2022 varsity tennis seniors. Photo courtesy of Scott Gloger.

Kassidy Samuelraj, Contributing Writer

Solon High School’s (SHS) girls varsity tennis team won first place in the Greater Cleveland Conference championship. The team sent Niya Fried, a senior at SHS, to the 2022 Girls Tennis State Tournament for the third time in her career. The team also had six district qualifiers this year including Alexandra Gorbacheva, Elyssa Schwartz, Phoebe Shi, Lindsay Lebowitz and twins Isabella and Olivia Liu.

Fried was the only SHS tennis player to qualify for the 2022 Girls Tennis State Tournament out of nine total girls on the team. Shyla Aggarwal, a senior at Mason High School, played Fried in their first round. Fried lost to Aggarwal, who ended up winning the entire tournament, 6-0 and 6-1. Nonetheless, Fried claims to have enjoyed her time at the tournament.

“It was fun,” Freid said. “I really liked going down to Cinicinnati and seeing all my friends who play tennis and seeing all the people there. It’s really fun watching the really good people play in the finals.”

Fried states that she really enjoyed her senior season, and she enjoyed spending time with the team.

“This year was really fun,” Fried said. “I think the girls got much closer this year. We did a lot of things, and we went out a lot and got food.”

Fried is also thinking about continuing her career on a college level

“I applied to all Division I schools, and I might be able to walk on too,” Fried said.

2022 varsity girls tennis team. Photo courtesy of Scott Gloger.

Fried credits a lot of her success to her athletic ability, her hard work and help from her private coach, Mike Ruben of Beechmont Country Club.

“I think that being a strong swimmer really helps me endurance and athletic wise,” Fried states. “I get right back into tennis once my swim season is over, and I work hard all summer and play tournaments. [I practice with Mike Ruben] once a week and he runs clinics for girls that make it to states and we all practice together.”

The team accomplished a lot during the 2022 season, such as winning the GCC championship and sending Fried to states and are planning on moving forward and applying what they learned this year towards next season. The current seniors hoped to have left a positive impact on the underclassmen and hope their advice sticks with them as they continue their tennis careers.

“I hope the underclassmen learned that you can always grow, and you can always do better and improve,” said Schwartz. “I also hope they know to keep a positive mindset when playing tennis because it’s a very mental sport.”