When his team began practice in August, Bloomfield High girls' tennis coach Ron Masson knew it would a different kind of year, with less matches than usual, but plenty of excitement possible.
In the end, Masson, the second-longest tenured coach at Bloomfield High behind the legendary William Foley, was right. Masson's Bengals finished the 2020 season by winning the Big North Conference's Independence Division, after two tough matches against Nutley to close out the campaign.
Bloomfield finished 8-3 in the regular season and were scheduled to play at West Orange, on Oct. 28, in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA state sectional tournament.
As usual, the Bengals were led by Aira Abalos, who has put together a tremendous senior campaign. Read more about Aira here. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/bloomfield/sections/sports/articles/bloomfield-s-aira-abalos-having-another-tremendous-season-on-the-tennis-court-as-she-closes-in-on-being-the-best-in-school-history
Anika Bhat played very well at second singles while Lila Matulac, a third singles player and captain, along with Abalos, came through with key wins in the two matches against Nutley to secure the league title.
"I'm really proud of all the kids," said Masson. "It's been such a good season, and I'm glad they got the chance to play for a league title. They're wonderful young women. I'm privileged to have coached them."
The Bengals also received good play at doubles from Mia Scollo, Maya Mickens, Anjili Ghoniya and Nandani Dholaria.
Bloomfield defeated the Nutley Raiders, 3-2, on Oct. 22, at home, then won on the Raiders' court, 3-2, a day later. The Bengals followed the victories over Nutley with a 3-2 win against Union City, in the first round of the sectional tournament, on Oct. 27.