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Westlake tennis squad ready, seeks SWC 3-peat
Westlake tennis squad ready, seeks SWC 3-peatBy Jim Horvath

Before the season started, the Westlake tennis team set a number of goals. One of them was to win a third straight Southwestern Conference championship.

The time to reach that goal has arrived.

Saturday, the Demons will head south with their 8-1 record to participate in the annual SWC Tournament in Medina. They tuned up for the big day with a 5-0 league win over Brecksville and a 3-2 victory over Hathaway Brown in a non-conference match.

The previous week, a rain-shortened schedule saw the Demons get past chagrin Falls, 4-1.

“The girls have a positive attitude heading into this weekend,” said Demons head coach Ralph Dunbar. “Our singles players have been solid all season, and our doubles teams are shaping up nicely. We’ve been working on different combinations to see which ones are best for team play.”

Westlake’s top player is Lauren Golick, who heads into the SWC tourney undefeated at 14-0. The team’s second singles player, senior Michelle Djohan, is 10-4, while Julia Dunbar is a sparkling 13-1. Dunbar has played most of the season at third singles.

Golick has been dominant against her opponents this season. In the past three matches, her toughest one was against Emily Mazzola of Chagrin Falls in a 6-1, 6-2 win. This week, she blanked Brecksville’s Connor Majstorovic 6-0, 6-0, then breezed past HB’s Surya Khadilkar 6-0, 6-1.

Djohan, with her blistering service game and aggressive ground strokes, registered a 6-1, 6-1 win over Brecksville. HB’s Sydney Green, however, proved to be a challenge for Djohan, coming away with a 6-2, 6-4 win.

Dunbar used her steady play to take out Emily Leizman, 6-2, 6-1 in Thursday’s match. The sophomore had an easy 6-1, 6-0 win in the Brecksville match, and teamed up with Melissa Djohan for a hard-fought 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 win over Chagrin Falls in a first doubles encounter last week.

This week, Melissa Djohan joined with Dana Miller for a first doubles win, 6-2, 6-4, over Brecksville, while Bhargavi Mahesher and Paavani Reddy took care of the Bees, 6-2, 6-0, at second doubles.

The teams were switch on Thursday afternoon, with Djohan and Reddy paired together for a 6-1, 7-5 win over Clair Cohen and Jen Masanec at second doubles. At first doubles, Maheshwer and Miller fell to Eve Kerman and Lindsay Greig in a grueling 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6) match.

Reddy played third singles in the team’s win over Chagrin Falls, coming away with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4) win.

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