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FairfaxSportsLangley girls win state tennis title

Langley girls win state tennis title

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The combination of season-long hard work and some late post-season tenacity worked as a winning formula that helped the Langley Saxons cap the 2022 girls high-school tennis campaign as state champions.

Langley won the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state tournament by defeating the Cosby Titans, 5-1, in the state final, finishing the season with a 16-2 record. The Saxons were 3-0 in the state tourney, blanking W.T. Woodson, 5-0, in the first round, then topping the McLean Highlanders, 5-3, in the semifinals.

The state championship was Langley’s ninth overall and first since 2012. The Saxons finished second in the state in 2015 and 2016.

“We didn’t have any real superstar players, but we had a team full of very skilled and talented players, but most importantly, real hard-working types of players,” said Jan Dabroski, in her 10th and final season as Langley’s head coach. “They showed up and got the job done.”

Prior to the state tournament, a slogan appearing in the tennis stadium at the French Open that Dabroski was watching on T.V. caught her eye. It read: “Victory belongs to the most tenacious.”

Dabroski said that slogan immediately became the team’s motto during the state tournament. She plans to have T-shirts made for the Langley players that will include that slogan.

“We needed something extra like that, and it worked perfectly,” Dabroski said.

Langley’s No. 1 singles player was junior Noelle Talarek. At No. 2 was sophomore Kai Henryson Gibbs. Senior Thalia Eid was No. 3, junior Erica Maebius was No. 4, senior Hala Gilbert No. 5 and freshman Meghan Schultz No. 6.

Senior Lauren Borror played No. 3 doubles with Gilbert.

Talarek and Henryson Gibbs were the No. 1 doubles team with Maebius and Eid No. 3.

Talarek lost in the semifinals of the region singles tournament.

Other players who saw action for Langley were Lily Chopus, Yamini Dongre, Sophia El-Bogdadi, Giavana Glogowski, Caitlin Kry, Fiona Lin, Anna Speidel, Emily Tang, Penelope Walke and Rebecca Zhang.

Also this past season, Langley won the Liberty District team championship by defeating McLean a playoff match, then lost to McLean in the 6D North Region tournament title match. Each team then advanced to states.

McLean finished the season with a 15-3 overall record.

McLean sophomore Vanessa Popescu was one of her team’s  top players. She lost in the semifinals of the region singles tournament.

Popescu and senior teammate Michelle Martinkov lost in the finals of the state doubles tournament, finishing the competition with a 1-1 record. The duo won the region doubles crown, defeating Talarek and Henryson Gibbs in the tourney final.

NOTE: Langley and McLean played five team matches this  past season, with Langley winning three times. Three of the matches were 5-4 final scores, another was 5-3 and another, 8-1.

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