Girls’ tennis “goes down swinging” in second round of CIF


Sherlyn Khouvilay ’18 bounces the ball before serving. Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press

Maddie Ozbourn

On Friday Nov. 3, the Foothill girls’ tennis season came to an end with a loss to Glendale High School at home, 7-11. Finishing second in league and making it to the second round of California Interscholastic Confederation (CIF), the girls had a lot to be proud of.

The match began with a rough first round for the Dragons. All three singles players, Erin Gaynor ‘19, Noelle Hayward ‘21 and Leah Sehati ‘20 lost their first set, as did doubles team Ella Duganne ‘21 and Olga Qoshlli ‘21. However, a 6-2 win from doubles team Alyssa McClain ‘18 and Sherilyn Khouvilay ‘18 as well as a 7-5 comeback after a rocky start for team Enkela Qoshlli ‘18 and Jolie Seemayer ‘21 gave the Dragons some hope.

McClain and Khouvilay continued their winning streak in the next two rounds. Gaynor contributed two points for the Dragons and Hayward beat Glendale’s number three player, but fell to their number one. The rest of the girls were unable to outscore their opponents, and the dragons were left with 7 points to Glendale’s 11.

Coach Brad McClain commented that his team “just came came up short.” However, he was happy to see that they “went down swinging” and “never put their head down.”


Jolie Seemayer '21 stares down opponent as she awaits the serve. Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press
Jolie Seemayer ’21 stares down opponent as she awaits the serve. Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press


Coach McClain was specifically proud of Alyssa McClain and Sherilyn Khouvilay throughout the season. “I’d go into a match knowing I’ve got a good chance of three points right there,” he said. This consistent pair of seniors has only lost four sets out of what their coach estimates to be 44 total sets played this season.

The third senior on the team, Enkela Qoshlli, felt that this match “was definitely a high point” despite the Dragon loss. She and her partner had only played together once before, but they felt that they worked well as a team and brought a lot of energy against Glendale to pull off that huge comeback in their first set. Enkela Qoshlli, while reflecting on this season, said she “really enjoyed getting to know everyone.”

Coach McClain, like Enkela Qoshlli, appreciates the team’s companionship.

“I like the team chemistry […] It was a tight group of girls, and they stick together through thick and thin,” he said.

This was coach McClain’s last year coaching girls’ tennis at Foothill. He thought “the whole season was a highlight” and enjoyed coaching his team.

Though he is resigning, coach McClain looks for the team to be “even stronger next year.”


What do you think?