Womens Varsity Tennis
|Southwest Guilford High School||5|
|Southeast Guilford High School||4|
Sept 27, 2021
Cowgirls travel to SEG Lady Falcons in Conference Tennis Action
A wild and wacky school day to preface the match, a predictable outcome to close out the day.
Knowing where the Cowgirls should play strong doesn’t always convert into the reality of the match. With courts 3/4 swapped for the Cowgirls from the first time we played and looking down the Lady Falcons roster, they too had a change up on courts 2/3, the Cowgirls headed into the match.
The #1 Lady Falcon is legit. With her Scholarship contingent on her completing one year of real high school v online through GTP, Reagan played her skill level. Though Audrey had a plan of action, apparently Reagan didn’t receive the memo and had one of her own. Audrey played better today than last time, and I dare say, didn’t commit as many unforced errors in today’s match. She played Reagan deep and into the corners mixed in higher balls to negate the excellent forehand and backhand shots of the Lady Falcon, and she was unmatched by her gentle touch when dropping the ball just feet from the net. Though this pulled the Lady Falcon in ways no one else has been able to do so this season in the conference, Reagan quickly adjusted and became more selective in the shots she delivered back the Cowgirl #1. Matching corner for corner and drop for drop, Reagan was able to capitalize on the smaller miss hits and simply earned points faster than Audrey. In the race to a game and games to a set, this is all that mattered. Again, Audrey came with a plan and executed it well, but Reagan had the final answer on Court 1. 1-6, 1-6.
#2 Tran played the previous #3 from SEG. Kennedy is a hard hitting, though a bit of a loose cannon in her shots. Tran rode this inconsistency through the first set easily taking it 6-0. The second set saw Kennedy hitting out less and putting the ball in play more. Kudos to Coach Hamrick of SEG in her boxing Kennedy into a focus she could achieve. Tran, though patient, went partial Tran + on court two and begin to push her shots….wide and long. Holding it together enough to maintain serve, her new mental opponent fared very well in staying on serve. Tran had her own epiphany, pull back and simply plan Tran’s game. And that she did, all but forcing her opponent into longer rallies and as Kennedy grew tired of the monotony, she began to go after shots. This was all it took. Tran’s game prevailed. She broke the Lady Falcon in her last serve and took the match 6-0, 6-4. Well played Tran.
We are thinking it is court #3. Originally we though Grace was blessed/cursed/jinxed/lucky in encountering all of those 3 set matches during the first half of the season. But here was Lauren, like Grace, not playing her game in the first set, but also like Grace, pulling out the stops and forcing a third set.
Lauren began off in today’s match. Be it the no traditional school day, the energy caffeine drink that had yet to hit her system, or the position of the moon and the stars over the weekend, Lauren’s game looked as alien to Coach as it did to Lauren herself. Chatting briefly at the fence, Coach encouraged and try to cajole the inner Lauren to come out and play. She held for another game in the first, but dropped it nonetheless 2-6. The second set began better, with increased effort in the footwork and movement to and around the shots. More encouragement…..Coach think the caffeine is hitting her system….finally! on serve through the first 6 games of set 2, Lauren breaks, holds, and breaks once more.
Into the third set. It was all up to Lauren…….10-0 blitz. Thank you inner Lauren for playing today. 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-0).
Grace now battled Ally who battled against Lauren the first time these two teams met. Grace started strong….well, ok, Grace started tentative, but kept the ball in play. This was enough. Ally, the Lady Falcon, was used to hitting against a bigger hitter and had few answers to Grace’s consistent rallies. Neither fast nor slow, Grace got to her balls and mostly returned them deep enough, wide enough, or short enough to keep Ally out of her strengths. As written about in the last write up, the height factor of Grace’s shots played a critical role in negating Ally’s power band. Grace rolled the Lady Falcon, 6-0, 6-0.
Anna, though not having a stellar game of play, was able to draw her opponent into the net with her new undercut drop shot and in turn, pushed her a bit longer the next go to keep her opponent guessing and feet moving. Never able to establish her game of play, the Lady Falcon could do little the first set. 6-0 Anna. The second set saw a change from the Lady Falcon. Anna’s shot not as crisp as before coupled with an understanding of Anna’s shot allowed the Lady Falcon better court movement and footwork….she was able to prepare for the ball earlier and better. This allowed the Lady Falcon to deliver harder and deeper shots than began to wear on Anna’s game. On serve through the first 9 games of the set and up 5-4, Anna was finally able to move the Lady Falcon into ill-advised or non-optimal shots. Trying to power through the shots, the Lady Falcon faltered, and Anna secured the win on Court 5 for the Cowgirls. 6-0, 6-4.
Kate, having won 1 and 0 last time, returned to her winning ways. Keeping the ball out of the sweet spot of the Lady Falcon, Kate kept her opponent moving all the way through. Though the rallies became longer in the second set, the Lady Falcon could gain no footholds managing only 2 games in the match. Kate wins 6-1, 6-1.
Having secured the dual team match in singles, Coach pulled Audrey and Tran from the line-up allowing for a more creative dubs pairings and hopefully play.
Parsons and Mcginnis faced off against Reagan (#1) of SEG and their #3 Josephine. Try as the Cowgirls might and hitting excellent net play and deeper shots to the weaker player, SEG’s Josephine didn’t fold and in turn, forced the Cowgirls on Defense allowing Reagan to mop of the remnants of hope from the Cowgirls. Competitive in game play, the score did not do justice to the level of play exhibiting by the Cowgirls. 0-8.
Hitting great shots including two aces (Lauren) and exceptional net and baseline play from both Cowgirls, Lauren and Rachael Dee had moments of fog on court 2. Kennedy (SEG) anxious to take a victory away from a lower seed dubs pairings, fought hard with partner Ally (Grace’s girl)…both hitting out and landing their shots in dubs play more often than not. Unable to answer the power with shots that went in or that the Cowgirls could get a firm hold on, court 2 Cowgirls went down 5-8.
A new pairing of Kate and Betsy Chen faced off against the 5/6 offering (Abby and Abby) of SEG. Their individual weaknesses covered by the other Abby, the Lady Falcons were able to keep a strong front against the Cowgirls. Kate and Betsy pulled them apart down the alleys and hit wonderfully cross court to keep it competitive. Down 6-7 the Cowgirls broke the Lady Falcons and evened it up at 7-7 (7 all). Hoping to capitalize on three solid games, the Abby’s stopped the forward motion of the Cowgirls stepping into their shots and footwork failing, the Cowgirls returned a series of shots directly back to the Net player who simply put them away. Kate and Betsy fall 7-9.
Final Score 5-4 victory for the Cowgirls.
Reader, do not look upon the score saying the Cowgirls lessened in skill from the first time they played the Lady Falcons, rather, having taken the match in Singles, Coach had the freedom to try new dubs offerings and evaluate the results. Winning and losing is a fine dandy metric, but doesn’t take into account of so many other factors…and quite honestly, Coach is looking for long term growth opportunities rather than a short run win. It is only in these closer matches and in ones where the Cowgirls must step up do you really see the growth potential and sometimes, diamonds formed. The Cowgirls shined well on SEG courts tonight.
Reagan Harris (Sw) over Audrey Serb (Sw) 6-1,6-1
Tran nguyen(SW) over Kennedy Penn(SE) 6-0,6-4
Lauren Harris (SW) over Josephine Ebanhose(SE) 2-6,6-3,1-0(10-0)
Grace Parsons (SW over Ally Hardie (SE) 6-0,6-0
Anna McGinnis (SW) over Abby kirkman(SE) 6-1,6-4
Kate Cherry (SW) over Abby Martin(SW) 6-1,6-1
Harris/ebanhose(SE) over parsons/McGinnis(SW) 8-0
Penn/Hardie(SE) over Harris/Rachae Dee(SW) 8-5
Kirkman/Martin (SE) over Cherry/Betsy Chen(SW) 9-7
Cowgirls win 5-4 in conference play.
Cowgirls rise to even 5-5 in conference and 6-7 overall.
Cowgirls host cornerstone academy on Tuesday and travel to Grimsley on Wednesday.