Womens Varsity Tennis
|Southwest Guilford High School||5|
Oct 5, 2021
If losing strums the heartstrings in a simple melodic discord…
Winning, especially turning a previous loss into a win, is likened unto a symphony.
The first time we played Ragsdale, it was harsh. Seemingly in control of the match after going 4-2 in singles (Race to 5) and needing only one win in dubs, the Lady Tigers played their upmost and crushed the Cowgirls Collective hope by taking all 3 dubs courts and the match.
So once more into the fray as we hosted the Lady tigers on Monday. Rain was holding off….a light sprinkle was expected, but little in the form of accumulation. Coach cracked open the balls and play began.
Audrey was well in control, up 5-1.
Tran duplicated Audrey’s efforts also up 5-1.
Lauren was looking long at her 1-4 start.
Grace’s game had not woken up yet as she languished also at 1-4.
Anna had already blitzed her opponent in the first set 6-1.
And Kate had not yet begun since the 2pm rain was still evident on court 6 ad no one wanted an ankle turn or worse.
And the sprinkling came….and persisted.
Coach called play for the protection of the ladies.
And the sprinkling continued. And Continued.
In short, the Coaches called the match for the day. Seeing the condition of the courts and knowing in the absence of sunshine how long they would take to dry…honestly, Coach didn’t want to wait upwards of an hour + in hopes of the moisture drying up.
So, we pushed to Tuesday.
Welcome back! Coach went up to his room after play was called and graded for another 2+ hours while the ladies all retired to their respective homes or in a few cases, went to the Soccer game to support the Cowboys.
Tuesday was beautiful!
Audrey walked off after decimating her opponent 6-0 in the second. 6-1, 6-0, little competition for the Cowgirl.
Anna was soon to follow. She too was able to overcome the special skills of the Lady Tiger and out play her 6-1, 6-2.
Tran was third off the courts. She played beautifully. Never allowing the specter of Tran + to permeate her game, Tran played consistent and simply built up points to her victory. Coming off the courts she professed she played poorly, and Coach disagreed adamantly. To hit harder shots by hitting out just means you are hitting harder shots and hitting out. But hard shots != (not equal to) wins all the time…it just feels good. Today’s match for Tran was one of patience, placement, and building points…not one shot winners. Today’s match was a success.
Kate, having just began her match, played tough through the first winning 6-4, breaking the serve of her opponent late in the set. She now sets her eyes on the second set.
Lauren ending up losing the first 1-6. Her feet now moving and her forehand in form, she was knee deep on serve in the second set before a momentary lapse in focus caused the loss of her serve and as such, the Lady Tiger prevailed. 1-6, 4-6.
Grace….Grace…Grace…..down 1-4 coming into today, the night did little to turn the tide in the first, but quickly recovering in the second, she began to push and play like Grace (Finally!). Better shots, better movement, better outcomes. Can anyone from the audience guess where this was heading?
Split sets and a tiebreaker! Of Course!
More on Grace and her tiebreaker later…..and be forewarned….She and Tran go into a tiebreaker in dubs as well! I know!
Up 3-1, but Grace was heading into a tiebreak with Kate Close behind.
Kate ended up dropping the second set like the first time these two athletes faced off together. Kate was fighting, but Emma (Lady Tiger) was adjusting well and pushed at the right moments to pull Kate in and then hit past her or to get her further out of court position. Losing two service game Emma forces a tiebreak.
Coach and Kate chatted. The first time these two played, the tiebreaker didn’t treat Kate well and she ending up losing. The goal was to not lose. I know, the Coaching wisdom espoused to the ladies should be written down for all to benefit. Other head coaches. This is a freebie! Use it as you wish!
Seriously, the goal was to not lose by changing the game. The shots Kate was getting caught up in were the short mishits from her opponent and when Kate ran up, she place the ball deep, but that was in the wheel well of her opponent who would then rocket a ball Kate couldn’t adjust to….so, short for shot and then during longer points, two longs and a shot. Hopefully this algorithm of shot play would gain Kate some traction.
And it did…to a point. Shot for short and the long long short made the other girl run and Kate did earn points from this. These points, unfortunately, were quickly given back by 4 errant frame shots on Kate’s approaches. Emma was hitting harder which was more difficult for Kate. Staving off game and match point twice, Kate eventually succumbed to a wonderful player and foe on court 6. 6-4, 3-6, 0-1 (7-10).
3-2 in singles with Grace still in a tiebreaker.
If the readers remember from last encounter with Ragsdale, we were up 4-2 going into dubs and lost on everyone of the dubs courts to lost the match. 4-2 is a better cushion than 3-3.
Now at 3-2, we turn to Grace’s court.
Having the momentum and energy, Grace began hitting harder and running……through the ball and errors followed.
1-4 in the race to 10 points. Pulling back her exuberance and subsequently, her depth of shots, the rallies became a lot more involved. Instead of placing, Grace became timid and lobed it higher. Neither player appeared to have liked this shift.
Though gaining a few more points in a game of attrition, Grace eventually fell to another exceptional Lady Tiger. 1-6, 6-3, 0-1 (4-10).
Two tiebreakers and two opportunities to close out the match just out of reach.
3-3 as we headed into dubs.
Audrey and Anna simply held court. Allowing only 2 games (instead of the 8-9 loss in a tiebreaker previously) in their route of the Lady Tigers 8-2. Angles were lovely and the serves competent to good. They pushed the Lady Tigers and built a wall at the net either stopping shots cold or deflection them beautifully for a winner.
4-3 with only 1 more win needed.
Tran and Parsons began playing…poorly. 1-2
Kids, this is not the way to win a match.
But Coach! You said Grace had two tiebreakers. Yes, little one, Coach did.
Tran, though wanting to play singles in conference since the 2nd week of season, texted Coach on Sunday requesting she and Grace play dubs together after their monster win over the Gimsley Whirlies #1 last week. Coach commented saying “Let us see how this week goes and then you can decide.”
Seeing the progression of tonight’s match…Coach was not inclined for Tran to play dubs, rather, Singles may be her best bet for regional attainment.
Then Wesney chatted with them as Coach continued to elevate the spirits and focus on court 3. This is why Wesney gets paid the big bucks….well that the extra $5 Starbucks gift card he doesn’t know about….smooth right?
8-7. OMGoodness! 6 games in a row staving off what should have been an easy one more for the Tigers.
Faltering of focus.
8-8, a tiebreaker.
And unfortunately, the Cowgirls couldn’t hold their focus any longer. The exuberance infected court 1 Cowgirls where it resulted in overhitting and poor shot selection.
8-9 (2-7), but kudos to the Cowgirls in their come from behind charge to almost take Court 1 and another win pushing the Cowgirls to victory….
4-4 in match play with only Court 3 to decide the match.
Lauren and Rachael. This is a lot to place on the shoulders of court 3 Cowgirls…so Coach didn’t tell them the progression of the other matches until afterward.
Lauren and Rachael played well, but putting the points together was still a struggle. Rachael went on the attack when she was at the net, but after 4 of her shots hitting the net or flopping off center shots, her aggressiveness at the net shrank greatly.
2-3 still on serve.
Then Lauren’s shots came alive in both serving and forehand shots.
And easy hold of serve.
Deft returns and solid shots at the net and baseline….The Tigers kept hitting it toward Lauren and her bigger swing that was now clicking!
4-3 the Break!
5-3, Rachael held!
6-4 Lauren still getting them in
7-5 Rachael + Lauren = winner!
And gutting the strengths of the Lady Tigers by giving them nothing to play with, the Cowgirls take court 3 (8-5) and in turn, earn the match win as the Cowgirls are victorious over the Lady Tigers of Ragsdale by the match score of 5-4.
It was a match and a half. Well played from both sides.
The Cowgirls travel to Northwest today and to Northern Guilford tomorrow.
Audrey Serb (SW) over Ruby Kemp (R) 6-1,6-0
Tran Nguyen (SW) over Lexi Honeycutt (R) 6-3,6-1
Ella Perez (R) over Lauren Harris (SW) 6-1,6-4
Caroline Mott (R) over Grace Parsons(SW) 6-1,3-6,1-0(10-4)
Anna McGinnis (SW) over Cameryn Wright(R) 6-1,6-2
Emma McNamera(R) over Kate Cherry (SW) 4-6,6-3,1-0(10-7)
3-3 after singles
Kemp/Price(R) over Nguyen/Parson(SW) 9-8(7-2)
Nguyen/Parsons came back from 2-7, leading 8-7, Ragsdale pulled back to force the tiebreaker and won it there. Great action!!
Serb/McGinnis(SW) over Honeycutt/Mott(R) 8-2
Harris/Rachael Dee(SW) over Wright/McNamera(R) 8-5
Cowgirls win 5-4 in a very tight contest.
Cowgirls improve to 6-6 in conference and 8-8 overall
They travel to NwG tomorrow weather permitting.