Bloomfield HS girls’ tennis team enjoys steady improvement during season

BLOOMFIELD, NJ (updated Tuesday Oct. 17, 12:15 p.m.)  – With several new players, the Bloomfield High School varsity girls’ tennis team has steadily improved this season.

The Lady Bengals, who had a 4-12 record with one more match remaining this season, were led by a good mix of youth and experience.

Freshman Aira Abalos enjoyed an outstanding year at first singles.

“She was the best player in our division (Colonial Division of the Super Essex Conference) with a record of 10-0,” said longtime head coach Ron Masson. “Overall, Aira is 12-4 for the season. She is a very talented, young player who has a great future. Aira competed in the State Single tournament last weekend (Oct. 7). She won her first match (against Rosemary Esquivel, of Nottingham, 2-6, 6-4, 10-5), then lost to the No. 1 seed in the second round (against Tess Fisher, of Vineland, 6-1, 6-0).”

Senior Beltide Mensah served as one of the captains. The second singles player showed tremendous leadership and will be missed for next year, said Masson.

Senior Rushika Barvalia, who played at third singles, was a varsity player for three years and will also be missed.

The first doubles team consisted of freshman Lila Matulac and sophomore Priya Gajera. Matulac “has made very good progress this year and could be one of our singles players next year,” Masson said.

Gajera was a first-year varsity letterwinner who also improved throughout the season.

The second doubles featured several players such as juniors Ashley Cruz and Kaylee Prieto, and sophomores Nicole Kovalenko and Emily Sawaked.

The Bengals are tentatively scheduled to visit West Orange on Oct. 23 for the final match of the season.

With a nice base of returning players, Masson is looking forward to next fall.