Comets win sixth straight tennis championship

The Mason girls tennis team poses with their sixth-straight OTCA state championship trophy and banner.

Ali Sami | The Chronicle

With a sixth consecutive state tennis championship, the Mason Comets carved their legacy in the history of Mason athletics as one of the top teams to ever wear the Comets‘ uniform and cemented the program as one of the most dominant in the landscape of girls tennis in the state of Ohio.

On October 23, the Comets won the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association (OTCA) team tournament championship at Saint Xavier High School. They defeated the New Albany Eagles in the semi-finals 3-0 before taking down North Canton Hoover 3-0 in the finals.

Team tennis matches are played in a best-of-five format with three singles matchups and two doubles matchups. Freshman third singles player Pratyusha Chaudhuri jumpstarted the Comets by defeating Ema Papcke in two sets. The Comets’ first singles player, Shyla Aggarwal, won her set 2-0. Harshita Uppuganti defeated Addison Shiel 5-2 in the final singles match 5-2 to clinch the team victory for Mason.

Uppuganti said that she felt pressure during her match because this was the last match of her accomplished high school career.

“I told myself to take breaths and to take each point at a time,” Uppuganti said. “I didn’t perform how I wanted to last year, so I wanted to come back stronger for myself and Coach Reid since it’s his last season and I did that.”

Coach Mike Reid is officially calling it a career after the 2022-23 season. In his tenure at Mason, he led the girl’s tennis team to six-consecutive state titles. Senior co-captain Riya Zutshi said that Reid has left a significant impact on everyone who has been a part of the program during his time.

“I think Coach Reid is someone to kind of look up to because he always finds a way to make it fun and he always believes in you and shows attention to you, even if you aren’t in the starting lineup.”

The senior tennis girls have dominated division one tennis in Ohio from the moment they stepped foot on the court as freshmen. They finished their careers as back-to-back-to-back-to-back state champions, a perfect record at the state tournament. Although the departing senior class has played a major role in all of those championships, Aggarwal said she is confident that the returning players will continue the Comets‘ reign of success.

“Everybody on the team is super hard working. Aggarwal said. Even with seniors leaving I think that Mason will be great for a long time.”

Photo contributed by Prasenjit Chaudhuri