Emily Flickinger and Esu Erdenebat became the first state tennis champions in Yorktown history on June 12. The duo won VHSL AAA doubles title with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over a team from Mills Goodwin at Jefferson District Park in Fairfax. Flickinger also won the state singles title, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 over Maureen Slattery of Warwick.
Despite playing as a doubles team for the first time this season, Flickinger and Erdenebat did not lose a set during the National District, Northern Region and state tournaments.
"They’re both excellent singles players," head coach Natalie Roy said, "but the trick when you put two singles players together is, can you make a great doubles team?"
Flickinger, a junior, and Erdenebat, a sophomore, made it work. After winning the Northern Region championship, the duo defeated a team from Mills Goodwin 6-0, 6-1 and a team from First Colonial, 6-4, 6-3 before winning the state title against another Mills Goodwin squad.
"They were pretty dominant," Roy said.
As a singles player, Flickinger finished the season 19-0. In three seasons with the Patriots, Flickinger has lost only two matches. She lost in the opening round of regionals as a freshman and in the regional semifinals as a sophomore.
"She loses so infrequently, it’s easy to tell about that as opposed to how many times she wins," Roy said. "She’s just a fabulous player. She’s got so many different … tools in her tool box."
Erdenebat was the region runner-up, losing to Flickinger. Erdenebat fell to Warwick’s Slattery, the eventual state runner-up, 6-1, 6-4 in the opening round of the state tournament.
"She’s a very smart player," Roy said of Erdenebat. "She’s a great retriever — she hits everything back — but she also has a very nice forehand for winners."
The Yorktown girls tennis team won the National District for the fourth time in five years, finishing 14-0. Five of the team’s top six singles players finished undefeated, and each of the top six singles players and top three doubles teams members received all-district honors.
The Patriots had seven players named all-region: Flickinger, Erdenebat, Alex Zachem, Stephanie Jennings, Angela Liang, Sheyla Fuentes and Ellie Berlyn.