Berkshire headed to the NEISA B tournament at Pomfret with two capable senior leaders but an inexperienced squad from a tournament perspective. On the tail end of a strong season in which they amassed a 8-5 overall match record, the Bears had proven that they could hold their own in head-to-head play, but two questions lingered in everyone's mind: How would the girls hold up to the crucible of New Englands competition? Would they be able to improve on the 9th place finish from 2012?
The Bears started strong, winning three (Michaelann Denton, Allie Brazo and Olivia Silverman) out of seven in the first round and propelling themselves into the middle of a very strong field of teams. Further victories followed throughout the afternoon, as Chase Gerber and Clementina Davila got in the win column. Maisie Noesen and Edeline Loh played some brilliant squash couldn't quite scratch out victories. The weary warriors headed off for a cozy dinner, courtesy of the Noesen family, and an early bedtime, dreaming of the challenges that lay in store.
Having played two or three matches on Saturday, each competitor had two more on Sunday. A strong start on day two was imperative for Berkshire to equal or improve upon their 2012 finish, and a good breakfast was instrumental toward that end. The Bears showed great focus and energy in the warm-up period and picked right up where they had left off the night before. When the dust settled, Berkshire was proud to come home with three individual trophies. More importantly, the hard work that the girls, including Serena Menges, Alexis Rivera and Chelsea Leeds, invested over the course of a long and wonderful season yielded the best news of all: an 8th place finish, up one spot from the year.
During the bus ride back to Berkshire, three songs that the girls had embraced echoed one last time through the airspace as the Bears considered once more:
- What do we stand for?
- Just because it burns doesn't mean your gonna die; you gotta get up and try, try, try.
- This is the state of grace; this is the worthwhile fight; this a ruthless game, unless you play it good and right.
A muted last supper at Chipotle, facilitated by Allie's early departure for Costa Rica but missed by Menges / Rivera / Leeds, provided a coda for the spectucular symphony of a season that Conductor Kohlhepp was privileged to witness from his big-hearted team.
- 8th place out of 16 schools
- Maisie Noesen: L-L-W-L = 13th place
- Michaelann Denton: W-L-L-W-W = 9th place
- Chase Gerber: L-W-W-L-L = 8th place
- Clementina Davila: L-W-W-W-W = 5th place (consolation winner)
- Edeline Loh: L-L-L-W = 15th place
- Allie Brazo: W-L-W-W-W = 5th place (consolation winner)
- Olivia Silverman: W-L-W-W-W = 5th place (consolation winner)