Having missed the tournament last year because of weather, Berkshire was excited to head down to Hopkins's all-day event. Seeing some familiar and some novel opponents, Berkshire hoped to place in the top half of the event as a team. With every single Berkshire player victorious in the opening round, that much was guaranteed early on. What remained to be determined was how far the individual players would venture in their respective draws.
Three were content to earn 4th-place finishes (out of 8 teams). Maisie Noesen beat Canterbury in the opener, then lost to strong Hopkins and Kingswood opponents at #1. Edeline Loh followed a similar trajectory at #4, beating Ethel Walker before falling to Hopkins and Pomfret. Olivia Silverman, the team's marathon aficionado, played nine tough games in total (the tournament used a best-of-three format instead of the usual best-of-five), beating Canterbury but coming up a bit short against Hopkins and Pomfret in the #6 flight.
Alexis Rivera, excited to be back in her home town of New Haven and playing her first matches at the #7 position, competed well despite a firmly taped wrist. Rivera took down Canterbury in the first round, then got by Pomfret in the second, eventually running out of magic in her final match, against Kingswood-Oxford. In total, this was good for a second-place finish. That same result was earned by co-captain Chase Gerber, who beat Canterbury and Pomfret before coming up short against Hopkins in the #3 position. One notch ahead of Gerber was #2 Michaelann Denton, who eased past Canterbury in the first; lost a tough 2-1 decision versus Hopkins; and roared back to take a 2-1 against Pomfret, finishing third.
One hungry Bear managed to go the distance. #5 Allie Brazo beat Ethel Walker in the first; Pomfret in the second; and Hopkins in the third to claim first place on the day. This proved delightful entertainment for Brazo's parents, who were joined in the gallery by Gerber's mom and dad; Noesen's and Rivera's moms; and Maddie Hunsicker '11, former Berkshire captain and Kohlheppian advisee, who snuck away from Colby College's weekend matches at Yale to visit with old friends in the green and grey.
A quick Starbuck's stop on the way home -- Coach K., having helped the host school with logistics all afternoon, broke down under the strain of transmitting orders in the drive-through line and sent everybody into the store to place their own requests -- put everybody in a good frame of mind at the end of a long day, and we were back on campus in time to participate in the back end of the trivia night competition.