For the past four seasons, Maria Guirguis has been a mainstay somewhere near the top of the Pilgrim girls’ tennis ladder, and she’s validated that lofty status each and every fall.
She was the team’s No. 2 singles player her freshman year and then spent the next three years as the Pats’ unquestioned No. 1 player. All four years, she had a winning record.
And she saved the best for her senior season, where she went 10-4 and set the tone for Pilgrim’s first playoff appearance during her tenure.
It was a pretty strong finish to a high school career that was already one of the school’s brightest.
“It was definitely really fun playing No. 1,” Guirguis said. “It’s a lot of pressure, because you always try to come out for a win for the team. We did make it to the playoffs, which is a huge accomplishment for Pilgrim because we haven’t gotten that far in my four years.”
And while Guirguis’ record spoke for itself, her head coach at Pilgrim, Shon Campbell, thinks that her level of play had a sort of trickle down effect on the rest of the team.
“There was no doubt that her ability raised the stakes for everybody who wants to be better and practice in the offseason,” Campbell said. “That’s what Maria did. She played all year round, and they basically saw that in her.”
The Pats made it to the quarterfinals of the playoffs, where they were knocked out by Scituate. Yet, there wasn’t all that much disappointment for Guirguis, who would have liked to win but was happy she finally got to enjoy being in the postseason for the first time.
“The reward in and of itself was making it to playoffs for us,” Guirguis said. “Playing No. 1 for the past three years, I’ve trained my whole life. The reward was seeing the smile on everyone’s face when you tried your best and won.”
Guirguis’s next step will be attending URI in the fall. The tennis coach had shown interest, but Guirguis is planning on turning her attention solely to school.
She’ll have quite a tennis career to look back on.
“She’s just an excellent player,” Campbell said. “It was a complete privilege to coach someone with her type of skill.”