Pittsford Mendon defeated Pittsford Sutherland 4-3 in high school girls’ tennis thanks to Raissa Lou’s deciding victory at first singles. The loss ended a winning streak that spanned ten years and 144 matches—a streak that began when Paul Waida coached Sutherland.

Pittsford Mendon defeated Pittsford Sutherland 4-3 in high school girls’ tennis thanks to Raissa Lou’s deciding victory at first singles. The loss ended a winning streak that spanned ten years and 144 matches—a streak that began when Paul Waida coached Sutherland.


From 1996-2004, Waida coached at Sutherland, where he enjoyed relative success. He also developed top juniors in the area, some of who contributed to Sutherland’s early success. Sutherland began its winning streak in 2003, before Waida accepted the head tennis-coaching job at Nazareth College, a position he has held ever since.


Since then he has continued to coach juniors like Raissa Lou and Joyce Luo, who both now play for Mendon. Lou and Luo—both seventh-graders—earned victories to lead Mendon past Sutherland. Despite the close match, Lou was admittedly unaware of the significance of her match.


“I actually didn’t know it was 3-3 and only found out after the match,” Lou said. “I was really happy to be part of the team who ended their streak and especially to be the deciding match because their team was so strong. I couldn't have done it without my teammates and coach, though. They supported me throughout the season and cheered me on in all my matches.”


The end of the streak came as no surprise to Waida, who expected his students to make an immediate impact on the Sutherland-Mendon rivalry.


“When I began to teach these two girls a few years ago, they told me that they would be going to Mendon,” Waida said. “I knew then and there that the Sutherland streak was in serious jeopardy because these girls were talented, driven, and very coachable.”


Lou and Luo credit Waida with developing their games from a young age. Both will continue to work with Waida, with hopes of playing tennis at the college level.


“Paul has played a very important role in my tennis development,” Lou said. “I started with Paul when I was 8 years old and learned most of my skills from him. Because Paul has a smaller select group of students, I got a lot of individual attention. He is a very nice guy and a great coach with a lot of patience.”


Waida, who still coaches juniors at Nazareth College and Mendon Racquet Club in Pittsford, was conflicted when he learned that Mendon had the chance to end Sutherland’s streak.


“At the end of the day I appreciate being a part of one of the great streaks in Rochester High School tennis,” Waida said. “But I can't help be proud of what my current students have accomplished.”