Sayreville, Old Bridge girls find success on tennis court


By Warren Rappleyea

Sayreville War Memorial High School’s girls’ tennis team turned in a solid fall campaign, posting a 16-3 record and winning the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) White Division title. At neighboring Old Bridge High School, the Lady Knights made the most of a rebuilding year to finish at 11-10.

The Bombers were consistent throughout the lineup. Junior Kathleen Beban was 15-3, using a powerful serve and excellent court awareness to make her mark in first singles. At second singles, senior Ankitha Dindagal recovered from a slow start to win 10 matches overall. Sophomore Kate Sudol improved throughout the campaign, and her ability to keep opponents off balance resulted in a 13-5 record.

At first doubles junior Jasmine Van Note combined with freshman Lianna Masangkay to post a 14-1 mark. Van Note’s presence at the net and ability to put balls away meshes nicely with Masangkay’s serve and volley game.

Sophomore Shrusti Sheth was a presence at second doubles, going 13-2-1 with a variety of partners. Another sophomore, Alecia Richardson, made a mark as well, teaming for eight of those wins.

“I’m very proud of what the girls accomplished,” Bombers coach Mike Provenza said. “We only lost one time in the division, and I thought the girls got better with each match. I think we can be even better next season. We’re only losing Ankitha [Dindigal] to graduation.”

For Old Bridge, junior Pauline Kharkover, who took her lumps at first singles as a sophomore, turned in 10 victories in the top spot for the Lady Knights this time against just three losses. Kharkover reversed two of those losses in rematches.

Sophomore Ruhi Shah had a solid season, winning nine times at second singles and also pitching in with two doubles triumphs. Old Bridge also got a boost from Brianna Quezada, who won the job at third singles and went on to win nine times by wearing her opponents down.

“We did very well in singles, and we surprised ourselves a little bit,” Old Bridge coach Craig Wood said. “Our doubles teams struggled, but they did come up with a couple of big wins for us.”

Sophomore Vita Bankauskas showed promise, winning five times at first doubles while paired with senior Marwa Awad. Bankauskas also competed in singles, where she won three times. Seniors Emily Jacobsen and Ashley Cohan handled the bulk of the work at second doubles. Sophomores Gwen Marchi, Diya Patel and Dhruvi Desai all got into a few matches as well.