According to Merriam-Webster, a dynasty is a team that is very powerful or successful for a long period of time. The Godwin Girls Tennis Team fits this definition to the letter.
The team started off its summer with a state championship title in Newport News. On June 13, the girls defeated George Marshall 5-3 after splitting singles 3-3.
Last year in the state finals, Godwin beat George Marshall 5-1, almost sweeping through singles. This year, Marshall brought a little more firepower.
“Going in I felt we were stronger,” said Head Coach Mark Seidenberg, “I thought we had the chance to be state champions…”
The Eagles’ number four Morgan Fuqua swept through her singles match 6-0, 6-0 to cap off an undefeated singles season. Number five Elizabeth Dudley, who was fighting through an injury, lost in three sets.
“She was gutting it out,” said Seidenberg, “she was in a lot of pain and fought through it.”
Number one Keerthana Shankar won her singles match 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 over Nattie Koludrovic.
“The final was really nerve wracking because I had the chance to get Godwin in the lead after singles by winning my match,” said Shankar, “I had lost to the girl two days before the finals in the individuals tournament so it was a special win for me.”
After finishing singles neck and neck, Godwin needed to win two more matches to gain another state title. The Eagles were able to rally in doubles and win states for the third consecutive year.
“We could only afford to lose one more match,” said Seidenberg, “and the girls came through…we played really good doubles.”
So what is the secret behind Godwin’s dominance?
“We have really good assistant coaches who push the girls,” said Seidenberg, “there’s a big culture of people trying to continue the success…the players work extremely hard to get better throughout the year and they work hard in the offseason.”
Shankar, a senior, reflected on her last match as a Godwin Eagle.
“Winning states was an amazing feeling and definitely a memory I will remember from high school,” said Shankar, “and winning it again my senior year made it more special because it was the last thing I got to be a part of at Godwin and to be successful was amazing.”
Girls Tennis has now been to 14 state finals in a row with 10 titles. Overall, the team was won 12 state titles. They also have been regional champions for 16 consecutive years.