Womens Varsity Tennis
|Southwest Guilford High School||2|
|Page High School||7|
SW Cowgirls host the Lady Pirates of Page in conference tennis action
Coach would love to share the small tennis miracle of making old balls new, turning tap water into Gatorade, and of course, besting Page in a Dual team match.
Unfortunately, none of these things transpired.
In the absence of the noted miracles, great play was had by all Cowgirls on the courts with a few wins thrown in for good measure.
Tonight, started our back nine play of the new conference teams. Having played everyone once and already established a pecking order, the second time through is either a nod to the playing advantage a team and/or (a) player(s) have. Many teams, Cowgirls included, will massage the line-ups, elevating players and better placing others to trying to maximize their talent spots….covering weaknesses and displaying leveraged strength where they can.
Both Page and SWG had adjusted their line-ups to do just that. Schmedes, having played number 1 previously in our first encounter, was now #2 helping to nurse her ankle (Schmedes went out of the match due to injury during the first conf match and encounter between these two splendid teams). Unfortunately, Page’s #1 was out forcing Schmedes to play Audrey again. quell dommage. hehe.
In a match that lasted right over one hour, Audrey, playing Schmedes, didn’t draw out the match, rather quickly went up 3-0 and though conceded two games per set as a consolation prize to her opponent, took care of business and won. Audrey proved to the Pirates who the best player was between these two teams. Save for SEG’s #1, Schmedes was the only question mark as to conference seeds for singles seedings and play. Way to go Audrey.
Tran came out swinging and was quickly out gunned by a feisty red head from Page. To protect Ms. Sloyan’s identity, we will simply call her ginger. Not to be confused with our own beautifully pale Ginger Kate, we will demarcate this with using a small “g” ginger to reference the Lady Pirate.
Holding nicely through the first set, Tran continued to play her game, but the ginger had shots and could run well for someone who clearly hadn’t seen outside near enough to hide the relative paleness of her features. There may be something about indoor training….Coach should look at that for the ladies. Back to the action! Tran stayed on serve, but could gain little headway into the game of her fair opponent. She was not only a wall, but a complete backstop to Tran’s shots. Trying to accelerate her game and hit the marks ahead of the ginger’s run and reach, Tran faltered and in doing so, lost her serve and 1st set to the Lady Pirate.
The second set’s game score tilted entirely to the Lady Pirate, but the game play remained tight. Three deuces of note across three separate games yielded nothing for the Cowgirl. Even Tran’s almost trademarked rope-a-dope to each corner alternatively did little to slow the game tally in favor of ginger.
In the end, Tran fought well, but the ginger had her number. No ill feelings. Tran’s soul was still intact since she kept her distance throughout the match and changeovers. Tran lives to fight another day.
Part of the line-up swap Coach mentioned above relates to courts 3/4 Lauren and Grace. Though earning their spots through challenging, Coach swapped these two Cowgirls to better engage both levels of play with what already was seen in the conference in the first half of play. Both Cowgirls had their share of success and opportunities….This change will simply allow them to better play their games and excel on their respective courts.
Lauren hit so well. Going against a more consistent and bigger hitter (normally the drop off in good hitting to pusher is somewhere in the 3rd and 4th seed of top six play), Lauren was able to hit her shots and began to move more due to her opponents angles and speed of play. Multiple deuces in just as many games, but Lauren was only able to keep 2 of those games for herself and the team. Serves were on, forehand and backhand strong movement good….it is just her opponent was able to remain more consistent in her hitting and thus decided the match in her favor. 1 and 1.
Grace stumbled in the first set. If you are a long time reader, Grace just needs almost a set to get her court legs back under her. Dropping the first set, Coach had a chat with Grace and a game plan was better detailed out for the second set.
Anticipating the delivery and placement of the shots, Grace began to ignite. Holding serve through her first three games of the second set, her opponent began to punish the poor fuzzy ball even more. Coming up on shorter balls and really driving the ball in on court and off the sides with an impressive display of both power and consistency. Normally when one hits out that much, the shots efficacy drops, but no. Page’s court 4 simply continued to rise in her shot selection and point winning ways. Eclipsing Grace’s surge, the Lady Pirate finished out the match 0 and 3 in her favor.
To lose means leaving something on the table….you held back or you didn’t give it your all. To get beat means you were bested by someone….you left nothing on the court. I feel blessed that tonight’s tennis action across all courts was simply on. Yes, there are opportunity spot, but no real glaring defects in play or shot selection. They all played their game, fully. I can ask for little else.
Anna learned a new shot. As the write-up explained last match, Anna began toying with a forehand slice to better expand her shot making capabilities. Though coming up short against NW on Monday, Anna did manage to secure the first set before her opponent pushed her into a corner she could not escape. But tonight…a different story. Hitting with Coach prior to the match, Anna learned two new aspects to her slice forehand. This she then used to her advantage to pull the harder hitting Pirate into poor shot selection or right out errors. Tight, on serve, Anna losing her serve, grabbing it again and her opponent’s too, Anna played strong, anticipating her opponent’s shots and simply got it back into play more often. 6-4 in the first, Anna didn’t suffer from the second set bump. Breaking early and once more later in the set, Anna lays low the might on Page’s court 5 with the score of 4 and 2 thus securing the second singles court of the night.
Kate was unable to join us tonight on court 6. Not fielding her text until late during 4th, Coach opted not to tell Rachael Dee her new found role as Varsity player on court 6 tonight until most of the team had assembled on the home bench.
Surprised, elated, and prob a bit nervous, she took to the courts. Also playing a first time to Varsity Maddie of Page, the two paired off in lively match play. Dee pushing into the corners and with her backhand holding fast, was able to stay competitive throughout the match. The dilemma was her opponent also could hit corners…and run…and hit a smidge deeper….and had a higher ball that made it difficult for Rachael to hit effectively. Goober! Dee’s game was on. The shots were good, but her opponent had an answer to every shot Question Rachael presented to her. Just as all of the top 6 before her had managed, Dee was in every point. Taking most games to deuce. Kudos to the Lady Pirate on her first Varsity win. Both ladies played extremely well tonight.
Pirates were up 4-2 over the Cowgirls after Singles.
Dubs action, like singles, was excellent. Longer rallies, spirited net play. Serves and lobs galore. All three courts remained competitive. Cowgirls earned a few games on court 1 and a few more on court 2, but the Lady Pirates were strong tonight as they focused on their prize.
The real delight of the night was the dubs play of Lauren and Rachel on court 3. Going down early 1-3 in the race to 8, the Cowgirls gained their footing and made a real game out of it. Erasing the deficit and in fact, going up 4-3, they were unable to hold as the Lady Pirates broke and took the lead back 5-4.
From the perspective of the Cowgirls.
8-7 – two game point opportunities, but the Lady Pirates would not relinquish the match!
Yes reader. Remember NW from Monday? yep, here we go again.
3-3 swap sides!
Still, the best these two Cowgirls have played together…neither really over hitting, sound net and baseline play….it was a great long look at the quality of Cowgirl strength and ability.
Hogewood, coach of the Pirates, paid the Cowgirls a great compliment. Though coming up short, Robert stated the Cowgirls once more gave the Pirates the best run for their money out of all of the other conference teams this season. High praise from a quality team. Coach Murphy looks forward in playing that strength and parlaying it into more wins and great times throughout the remainder of the season.
Cowgirls drop a tough match but are consoled by their level of play tonight.
Audrey Serb (SW) over Anna Scmedes (P) 6-2, 6-2
Hattie Sloyan(P) over Tran Nguyen (SW) 6-4, 6-0
AP Eskridge (P) over Lauren Harris(Sw) 6-1, 6-1
Abby Terrell (P) over Grace Parsons (SW) 6-0, 6-3
Anna McGinnis (SW) over Tyler Coker (P) 6-4, 6-2
Maddie Herrick (P) Rachael Dee (SW) 6-0, 6-0
Schmedes/Sloyan (P) over Nguyen/Parsons 8-3
Eskridge/Terrell(P) over Serb/McGinnis (SW) 8-5
Coker/Anne Kaplan(P) over Harris/Dee (SW) 9-8(7-5)
Page wins over SW 7-2
Page remains unbeaten in conference play.
Cowgirls drop to 3-5 in conference and 4-6 overall
Cowgirls will host western on Monday.