Following the cancellation of the 2020 season, Loudoun Valley High School's girls' tennis team are making the most of a return to competition this spring.
With a deep and talented roster of student-athletes, the Vikings have won all their matches this season on their way to earning a spot in the Virginia Class 4 state tennis tournament.
"Last year, we didn't really even get out of the gate," said Loudoun Valley head coach Cara Orenzuk, who was hired prior to the 2020 season that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "I think everybody was ready to go [this season] and looking forward to a reprieve from staring at their four walls for the last year."
Placing an emphasis on inclusion and having fun as a team, Orenzuk and assistant coach Deanne Iverson have guided Loudoun Valley to an undefeated regular season, followed by team championships in the Dulles District and Region 4C tournaments.
The Vikings defeated Loudoun County 5-1 in the Dulles District final and swung past Sherando 5-2 in the Region 4C championship match.
Loudoun Valley's roster consists of players Sarah St. John, Emma Clothier, Lauren Allen, Luci Hansen, Anna Orenzuk, Faith Gallegos, Carleigh Leavitt, Julia Heltzel, Morgan Lundberg, Charlotte Crowley, Maggie Cohen, Sophie Dattilo and manager Sofi Alfaro.
"It's been a fun journey. I think they have all had a good time," Coach Orenzuk said. "They have all come together and gelled as a complete team."
The Vikings have also enjoyed success in singles and doubles during the postseason. Loudoun Valley's duo of Leavitt and St. John won the Dulles District doubles title and reached the final at the regional tournament, while Gallegos advanced to the singles final at the Dulles District tournament.
Loudoun Valley will aim to continue its historic season in the Class 4 state semifinals. The Vikings will host Region 4D champion Blacksburg on Monday at 2 p.m. The winning team advances to the state final, set for Thursday in Newport News.
"You just want to do the best you can, play your best tennis and have fun doing it," Orenzuk said.