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The Burlingame girls’ team is too much for Aragon | Local




It’s a good thing the Peninsula Athletic League is not keeping records for the girls tennis season as far as the Aragon team is concerned.

The Dons hosted Burlingame in San Mateo on Thursday and the Panthers booked a shutout.

Other than that, it was like any other game, albeit with many players wearing masks.

If you didn’t know it was COVID and came in from Michigan, it looked like a high school tennis match, Burlingame head coach Bill Smith said. Everyone tried as hard as they could.

That was more than evident on number 1 singles, showing the future of the PAL. A pair of Burlingames freshmen Mila Mulready and Aragons Varsha Jawadi were on a show of tennis power, with just enough touch to show that both these players are really good.

Both junior circuit veterans, Jawadi, got off to a quick start in the first set, winning the first two games. However, Mulready broke Jawadi to tie the set to 3-all, which brought Mulready to a 6-4, 6-1 victory.

They had a little more juice because Mulready and Jawadi know each other well.

Varsha and I are really good friends. We play against each other almost every week, Mulready said. We’ve been playing against each other in juniors since we were 8 (years old). She wants to get a second chance.

The Jawadi-Mulready match was one of the more competitive of the day as Burlingame won the other six matches quite easily, as the Panthers won all seven matches in straight sets without losing anyone more four matches in a set.

The Panthers are packed with experience as Ella Rafferty, Vedika Bhaumik, Kaleia Daga, Annika Ganguly, Molly Wachhorst, Margot Bender, Shareen Ahmad, Sofia Biddle and Olina Du all return from the 2019 team. Add to that Mulready and the Panthers would be in the running for a PAL Bay Division title in any other season.

Were good, said Smith. Just worked hard on what we do, show up, work hard, and prepare for a match.

The scary thing is that Burlingame could be even better. Smith said he currently has three other players from the lineup who could all be top 10 talent in the PAL.

On the other hand, Aragon head coach Dave Owdom complained about the lack of experience in his team, saying seven players from the 2019 team decided not to come back for this version of high school tennis. Owdom said some of the absentees were concerned about the virus.

Instead, only Jessica Fu and Simran Bal are the only two returning players.

I have three really experienced players, Owdom said, adding Jawadi to that list.

Then all of these girls play their second varsity match.

Would those missing players have made a difference?

Who knows, Owdom said. It would be a lot closer.

But not everyone on the field was that concerned about winning and losing. Aragon Evie Bigue was just happy to play a sport. The junior, who has teamed up with Shreya Arjun to form the Dons No. 2 doubles team, tore the anterior cruciate ligament twice over a six-month period while playing soccer for the first time in the summer of 2019 and again in December. She has been in rehabilitation for the past 10 months.

While it’s never a good time for injuries like that, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Bigue.

It took the pressure off (rushing to play back), Bigue said. It’s nice to be back. I’m back and ready to go. Happy to be able to do team sports (again).

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