Coming out of the long weekend, the Bears opened up the final stanza of their season with a stiff challenge from perennial rivals Kingswood-Oxford. The Bears retained echoes of a difficult 4-3 loss from last season and hoped to return the favor against the visiting Wyverns. Given Berkshire's long ladder and Kingswood's clear strength at the top, both coaches recognized that a total team effort would be necessary to secure a victory. A delayed start due to the lower girls' team match against Kent allowed to suspense to continue building past the appointed 3:00 hour, and the atmosphere was as electric as the spectators were enthusiastic when the action finally commenced at 3:25.
Evens were on first, as is the usual custom, and Berkshire got a split at top and bottom. #2 Michaelann Denton struggled to find her rhythm against an aggressive foe, but Denton had just enough poise and precision to eke out a straight-game victory (12-10, 11-5, 12-10). Her compadre #8 Alexis Rivera showed a lot of moxie against an imposing opponent, managing to get to a fourth frame, but couldn't quite earn a fifth (6-11, 11-9, 4-11, 6-11). The middle of the ladder also saw a split. #4 Edeline Loh fought hard but came up short (6-11, 8-11, 4-11) while #6 Allie Brazo slugged her way through three close games (11-9, 11-8, 11-8). The match stood 2-1 in favor of Berkshire as the odds stepped onto the courts.
At the top, #1 Maisie Noesen rebounded from a dreadful first game to play some terrific squash against a talented K-O stalwart, yet Noesen succumbed in three (3-11, 9-11, 6-11). At the other end of the corridor, #7 Olivia Silverman came through in straight games (11-, 11-7, 12-10), giving Berkshire's third of the required four victories. With #3 Chase Gerber embroiled in a titanic struggle on court two, the match hung in the balance until #5 Clementina Davila overcame a hiccup in the third game to seal the deal in four (11-7, 11-3, 2-11, 11-1). Gerber continued to battle and, perhaps sensing that things had turned in the Bears' favor, had just enough fuel and focus to claim the final frame in her test (8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 11-9). #9 Chelsea Leeds showed continuing improvement but dropped a straight-set exhibition as Gerber was winding things up.
Shortly after the game, the team convened in the SqLounge to wish Denton a happy birthday and to enjoy a pan of birthday brownies. Coach K praised the team effort on the afternoon. "You guys have worked your tails off in practice," he observed. "The strength and skill that you demonstrated today speak to the commitment that you make, day in and day out, to your team and to your sport."