Reid leads Girls tennis to another championship as legacy grows

Cody Allgor | Staff Writer

Girls Tennis head coach Mike Reid talks with his players during a fall practice

 The Mason girls tennis team is going to have to find a much larger trophy case.

The Mason girls tennis team earned their fourth straight Ohio Tennis Coaches Association (OTCA) state championship with their win over Upper Arlington on Saturday, October 25th. This championship comes after the sixth straight Greater Miami Conference (GMC) title for the Comets and has further cemented Mason as a dominant force in Ohio girls tennis. 

The Comets had one loss on the year, which was to Upper Arlington, a loss that the Comets would redeem in the State Championship match. Notably missing from the lineup in the loss earlier in the season to Upper Arlington was GMC athlete of the year Shyla Aggarwal. Head Coach Mike Reid said that he liked the Comets chances much more with Aggarwal in the lineup.

“[Upper Arlington] beat us early in the season, but we didn’t have Shyla playing with us that day and that makes a big difference,” Reid said. “So, you look at the other team with their lineup in hand and you see how we might match up with them and I thought we’d match up really well.”

In high school tennis, three out of the five courts have to be won for a team to win a match. The Comets knew they needed a win from Aggarwal to get the job done, and that put pressure on Aggarwal to come through. Aggarwal said that Reid has taught the Comets to play through pressure and perseverence.

“We knew it was gonna be close regardless, but everybody was saying that I had to win, which is a lot of pressure,” Aggarwal said. “But at the same time, coach has taught us to play through the pressure and not let our nerves get through to us and that helped me stay focused.” 

After a long weekend of playing in the OHSAA singles tournament and placing second, Aggarwal found the strength to win her court and help propel the Comets to a fourth straight title. 

The Comets had two seniors on the championship roster, Raina Chada and Annie Kruse, both who have contributed all four years of high school. Chada said that the relationship that she has built with teammates over the years has allowed them to build comradery and competitivness.

“I’ve known the people on the team since third grade, we’ve all played tennis together and grown up together,” Chada said. “We know each other so well that when we play together, we target our weaknesses. This helps us improve our all-around game.”

Mason is a school flooded with talented tennis players, helping the Comets fill empty roster spots year after year. With graduating seniors such as Kruse and Chada, Reid said that he is confident that the Comets can step up and fill their spots.

“We’ are going to be returning five of the kids that were playing in the state championship match,” Reid said. “We’ve been fortunate in our program that the last couple of years kids have stepped up and filled spots that we needed. Two kids next year need to do the same thing and I’m confident that someone will.”

Annie Kruse finishes out her high school career with four First-team GMC awards, four state qualifications, and two top four finishes at the state tournament in doubles. After a long career, Kruse said that she was thrilled to end it the right way. 

“This team has meant so much to me all four years,” Kruse said. “It was a lot of pressure knowing that this was it and this was our final season, but I was just really happy that we were able to finish with another championship.”

Photo of Rilee Malloy