Someone finally infiltrated the institution that is Lowell girls’ tennis.
That someone is Wallenberg sophomore Jennifer Salomon, the first non-Lowell player to win the All-City individual championship in 12 years.
Salomon defeated the Cardinals’ Michelle Lam 6-3, 6-1 Friday in Golden Gate Park.
It was the girls’ third time playing one another this season. Lam won the regular-season matchup, while Salomon defeated Lam 7-6, 4-6, 6-2 last week in the AAA team championship.
"Today, I was more aggressive," Salomon said. "I think that threw Michelle off."
That aggressiveness allowed Salomon to take the first game of the match. Lam then seemed to hit her stride, snapping several serves that literally tripped up Salomon. But Salomon’s consistency prevailed.
"[Salomon] doesn’t so much overpower you, but she keeps coming," Lowell coach Terence Doherty said. "She has a pretty good mental game."
Neither player dominated the match. Lam’s slicing returns ran Salomon to the court’s four corners until the final point.
"[Lam] gets all the balls back," Salomon said. "Her serve has wonderful placement."
Galileo’s Chau Truong also chipped away at Lowell’s dynasty. The sophomore defeated three-time AAA champion Lana Tsodikova for third place.
On the doubles’ side of the fence, Cardinal red was everywhere.
Marianna Tishchenko and Theresa Nguyen defeated Lowell teammates Monica Lam and Jennifer Tsang 6-4, 6-1.
It was a challenging match for seniors Tishchenko and Nguyen for several reasons. To start, the two have been playing in Lowell’s No. 3 and 4 single spots all season and only switched to doubles for the All-City tournament.
Secondly, playing the Lam-Tsang team was tough "mostly because they’re good," Tishchenko said.
This is Nguyen’s third consecutive AAA doubles title. Jennifer Hom and Sally Ness beat fellow Cardinals Aia Estares and Minnie Wong 7-5, 6-2 for third place.
Nguyen and Doherty recognized the difficulty in teammates becoming opponents.
"I usually don’t try to give them too much advice against one another," Doherty said. "It’s tough that someone has to lose, but that’s the way it is."
Looking to next season, Doherty will lose several players to graduation.
"A lot of these players have contributed for four years," Doherty said. "They’re going to be hard to replace."