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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Phoenix Tennis Teams Take the Title at Districts

On Monday, May 20, both Phoenix tennis teams faced the Loudoun Valley Vikings in the Dulles District Championship. Both girls and boys doubles pairs will be the number one seed in the region tournament on May 28.
Bhargav Kuniki
With his eyes on the ball, senior Aryan Dhiman swings his racket hard in order to get an advantage over his opponent.

On Monday, May 20, both the girls and boys tennis teams took on the Loudoun Valley Vikings in the Dulles District championship. The Phoenix boys swept the Vikings 5-0 and became the top seed in the region. The girls team also made a clean sweep and will send a doubles pair to the region tournament on May 28. 

With the sun searing down on the Phoenix tennis courts, seniors Kaushik Muskari and Aryan Dhiman took the 2024 Dulles District Doubles Champions title. Muskari found that the  road to districts was a team effort. “I think what led us to districts was keeping our head in the game and really working hard on the court,” Muskari said. “We always have more to do in practice every day when we don’t have matches. That really keeps us on our toes.” The mental aspect of the game is what the team focused on the most this year, and their record is a direct reflection of that. Muskari and Dhiman will advance to the region tournament as the number one seed on May 28 after a 6-3 and 6-0 win over the Tuscarora Huskies and Heritage Pride respectively in previous matches. 

Alongside Muskari and Dhiman, seniors Sannidhi Sangisetti and Tarini Panidepu will also be the 1 seed as they advance to the region finals. Sangisetti looks back on the hard practices this season and is grateful for the conditioning that helped her win various matches. “The running helps us stay consistent during the heat,” Sangisetti said. “We’ve just been trying our best and playing well.” Despite some obstacles throughout the season, the girls tennis team worked together to overcome external pressures to shine through at matches. “I think we did good with staying focused on the game and knocking it out,” Sangisetti said. 

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The beginning of the girls season proved to be quite the struggle as they went up against experienced teams early on in the season. “We just kind of doubled down our efforts and pushed through it,” Panidepu said. Now, the team is well-versed with each other’s playing style and they’ve overcome many of their challenges together as a team. 

Aside from the doubles team, one particular sophomore swooped in to take the Dulles District Champion for himself. Sophomore Akash Vangala swept the Pride and the Vikings with a 6-1 and a 6-2 win respectively. Vangala clutched with a 12-10 win in the final set tiebreaker to earn the Phoenix boys team the Dulles District title. 

The Phoenix boys tennis team won the rematch against the Vikings in the Region finals on May 22.  After three consecutive days of matches, the Phoenix boys took the region title and are the 2024 Region Champions for the first time since 2017. The boys are the number one seed in the state and will host the state quarterfinals at home on Friday, May 31.

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About the Contributors
Sruthi Vivek
Sruthi Vivek, Sports Editor
Sruthi Vivek is a sophomore and this is her second year on “The Blaze” staff. She is the Sports Editor, and she’s looking forward to all of the amazing things that the staff will accomplish this year. Sruthi plays for the Rock Ridge varsity basketball team, and she loves sports in general. She loves going to football games and hanging out with her friends at tailgates. When she’s not out socializing, you can usually find Sruthi in her room stressing about school work or watching TV shows. She’s also very passionate about art and loves to paint in her free time as well. Sruthi is a huge music fan, and you’ll usually find her listening to R&B and rap artists like Bryson Tiller, Drake, Travis Scott, and Tory Lanez. She originally joined Newspaper her freshman year because she loves to write and take pictures.
Bhargav Kuniki
Bhargav Kuniki, Photo Editor
Bhargav is a junior and the Photo Editor on The Blaze. When he's not mountain biking, he's doing homework, playing basketball, or hanging out with his friends. His favorite food is homemade mashed potatoes with gravy. He joined the newspaper to be more involved in the inner workings of Rock Ridge. He's looking forward to the year and the exciting new stories to write.
Sam Cho
Sam Cho, Staff Writer
Sam Cho is a senior in his first year on the Newspaper staff. He decided to join because he wanted to become a part of a new source at Rock Ridge. As of right now, Cho is part of the SCA, where he helps organize events such as prom, pep rallies, and homecoming. He is part of the lacrosse team as a long stick middie. He is looking forward to graduating and attending college and studying Public Health. Cho also enjoys playing basketball with friends and maintaining his reselling business in his free time. “I believe that a key to newspaper, from what I’ve seen so far, is to be more open to new people and be more active in finding resources,” Cho said.

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