MILFORD — Pitted against the one player who had ever beaten her in a high school match — and trailing by one set — Cheshire sophomore Alex Orlins rallied to defeat Darien’s Lauren Zhang 4-6, 6-2, 10-8 in the girls singles final of the CIAC Individual Invitational Tournament on Friday afternoon at Milford Indoor Tennis.
The victory completed a perfect 24-0 season for Orlins.
It also represented a changing of the guard. Zhang had defeated Orlins in the semifinals a year ago when the two were freshmen en route to the 2022 crown.
Both girls were undefeated in their sophomore seasons going into Friday’s rematch. Zhang, the No. 1 seed, was 20-0. Orlins held the No. 2 seed.
Though Orlins dropped the first set, her comeback began there. Down 4-0, she rallied to within 5-4 before falling 6-4. From there, she took the second set and the super-tiebreaker.
It was the second super-tiebreaker for Orlins in as many days. In Thursday’s semifinal, also played at Milford Indoor Tennis, Orlins battled to a 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 victory over Zhang’s Darien teammate, junior Sarah Donnelly.
The super-tiebreaker was tied at 6-6 when Orlins won four of the final five points.
Orlins is the reigning Record-Journal Girls Tennis Player of the Year.