It is not wrong to say that yesterday's win was the sweetest of their eight consecutive title triumphs.
Methodist Girls' School (MGS) had their work cut out in their defence of the National Schools' girls' B Division tennis title.
They had to cope with a smaller playing roster, competing with a squad of only nine players, down from the usual 12.
But, while they were short on numbers, they stood tall in their performance, as they secured their eighth consecutive national title with a comfortable 4-1 win over CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) at the Yio Chu Kang Tennis Centre yesterday.
Elizabeth Lee got MGS off to a winning start when she defeated CHIJ's Nathalie Tan 6-4, 7-5 in the first singles.
Amanda Chong put another point on the board when she pipped Sheryl Teo 6-3, 7-5 in the second singles, before CHIJ's Rysika Pendyala beat MGS' Mannat Johal 6-3, 7- 5 to reduce the deficit.
But there was no stopping MGS as Tiah Jeng Yen and Tamara Tan (MGS) outlasted Alithea Tang and Sabrina Tan 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 in the first doubles match to clinch the winning point.
Genevieve Ang and Daryl Wang then put the icing on the cake with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Tan Run Qin and Valerie Lai in the inconsequential second doubles match.
"It was a tough year for us, with some of the girls leaving for junior college, and that left us short on numbers," MGS coach Ang Hock Chai told The New Paper.
"But we pulled through, and it's so much sweeter considering how we lost 3-2 to CHIJ in the preliminary round, but bounced back to win 4-1 today.
"I cannot be more pleased with how the girls performed. It's been a thrilling year, and there's no reason why we can't get No. 9 next year."
Doubles player Daryl Wang, 16, was thrilled to end her final season with the school on a high before graduating next year.
"We're really proud of ourselves and what we've achieved. From day one, you could sense that everybody wanted the title really badly," she said.
"I'm leaving the school with a fresh medal, and I'm very thankful to have been given the opportunity to represent MGS."
Despite coming up short in the final, CHIJ's teacher-in-charge Jacqueline Yip was proud of her charges making their first final since 2006.
She said: "We lost, but that didn't matter. What mattered was the way the girls approached their matches - their maturity is a very good sign for us."
This article was first published on March 5, 2015.
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