Womens Varsity Tennis
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- May 17, 2021
- COWBOYS: 7
WESTERN GUILFORD HIGH SCHOOL: 2
May 17, 2021
Cowgirls over the Lady Hornets of Western Guilford 7-2 in conference tennis play.
Court 1 –Losing once in Fall 2019 in three sets, triumphing back the second time they played and devastating her in the finals of the conference tourney to take the PT 3-A conference singles, Audrey and Ms. Henley faced off for the first time this season. Jumping to an early lead, Audrey broke early, only allowing Ms. Henley one hold of serve. Punishing her Western counterpart with deft serves and a medley of forehand and backhand shots finding corners and baselines, Audrey Serb continued her perfect season with an almost flawless. “Let’s Go!” Audrey wins 1 and 0.
Court 2 – Annie Vo had to battle with a young lady who played a very similar game to her own. Two handed backhand, well placed forehand, and good speed to run down a lot of shots. The deciding factor was simply consistency. Annie could hit her shot 7, 8, 9 times or more…the Lady Hornet maxed out about 5 shots. The two games in the first was Annie feeling out her opponent each trading serves until Annie’s consistency proved too much. A brief brain fart starting the 2nd set allowed the Lady hornet to go up 1-3 before Annie settled back down and pulled her back winning the next 5 games, holding 3 times and breaking her opponent twice. Excellent play from Annie in bringing the Lady Hornet to heel 2 and 3.
Court 3 – Tran Nguyen settled in quickly and simply ran away from her opponent. Allowing only one hold of serve for the Hornet, Tran set to task with good depth, and adequate left and right jostling forcing her opponent to continually track down balls while running to and fro. If the reader doesn’t know, running back and forth does little to a well-placed shot in response unless this is what you practice. See Audrey’s game for inspiration on this front. In short, Tran outplayed her opponent from the start leaving little to chance as she nearly routed the Lady Hornet 1 and 0.
Court 4 – Nicole Sopala suffered the once hiccup in a perfect singles sweep. Up initially, Nicole faltered as the Lady Hornet adjusted to her back spin backhand. Being confronted by a pusher, Nicole’s game was unable to adjust to such play. Pushing where she could, but ultimately coming up short 5-7 in the first. What was so different about this game of play? Nicole’s hitting is built around deeper, longer balls that bounce to her…in other words, more developed hitters. Though pushing is a style of play, it has limited upward viability, but in this case, it can take out a bigger hitter when it takes away their competitive advantage….Mojo. And once Mojo is lost during a match, it is hard to regain. We all are working on something….on court 4, it is generating power and placement off of insubstantial returns. We are getting close….let’s pray we achieve more success before the Conference tourney!
Court 5 – Maggi Mugi did spectacularly against her counterpart. Exchanging serves the first 2 service games each, Maggie found and exploited a service break. once, twice, and set one was in the books. Re-energized in the second, Maggi’s opponent dug deep and held serve once more through the first attempts, but Maggi outran, outplayed, out placed her opponent as she ran it 2 and 2 in her victory.
Court 6 – Shaini Lal also did her part securing the match win in singles taking her opponent to task 0 and 2 in her match. Shaini had her opponent from the get go. The Lady Hornet’s hits were a bit short allowing Shaini to walk up and deliver her normal hit which in turn forced her opponent back further. Shaini’s corner shots were on tonight and her serve proved deep enough to burden her opponent with an answer she could not articulate in response. In short, Shaini’s game, though still developing, was more than a match for counterpart’s strengths and Shaini won easily. Well done Shaini.
Cowgirls take the match after singles 5-1.
With little pressure on Dubs performance and with an eye to the conference tourney, Coach elected to sit Audrey/Nicole from #1 dubs and move the rest of the line up +1. Annie and Tran were thrusted into #1 dubs seed, Maggi and Shaini up to #2 dubs, and doing well last week v Parkland, Avery and Lauren returned to the lineup at #3 dubs.
Annie and Tran, taking on Western’s #1/#3 could do little wrong. Though playing from the baseline, the lady hornets did little to annex the court near the net and allowed this to be a game of attrition with a few bursts of net play but mostly dictated by longer cross court rallies. This proved detrimental to securing the win for the Hornets. The Cowgirls were stead, held serve, maintained poise and executed deep, meaning lobs, as they broke the Hornets twice securing an 8-4 victory.
Maggi and Shaini played excellent tennis until the young Ms Boes from Western decided to change her play and ultimately change the fate of the match. Serves were good and cross court shots were of particular effectiveness for the Cowgirls but enter Ms. Boes. She stepped into the middle…literal middle of the net. And the Cowgirls faltered. Unfortunately, lobs were not a strong suit and did I tell your Ms Boes was tall with a great reach when coupled with a small vertical? Well, she did. Her presence in the middle of the court cut of any crosscourt shot the Cowgirls could plan…the lobs were stale and ineffective resulting in shots pulled down for overheads and in the rush of court coverage, the Cowgirls could do little in response. In short, the Lady Hornets staged a come back and won. But let’s break this match down further.
Tennis play, as is in life, is not linear. Winning two points doesn’t dictate the likelihood of winning the third nor the first two games dictate the outcome of the match. Trends are great, but direction in tennis is finicky. Please remember Maggie and Shaini, Cowgirl #5/6 respectively, were playing up against a competitive #2/#4 of Western. Both ladies could have outplayed the Cowgirls in a head to head singles play, but this was doubles. The Cowgirls exploited the weakness of Western’s ineffective court coverage initially with deep crosscourt and down the middle play. Though trending right for us, the Western players adjusted and cut off that advantage. And this is the benefit of more mature and higher quality play. The Cowgirls could not adjust fast enough….trying to lob at first and in the heat of the moment, forgetting to either push through the player or with the elevated (height of ball) rally, bring it back down and go for the alleys….experience. The Cowgirls’ canteen ran dry before it could quinch the fire of their opponents. Refilling off court in chats with coach with the match laid out before them, the connections became more obvious and the game plan established in our pursuit of playing maturity for future matches.
Should we have won on dubs #2 court? Great Question. Luckily Tennis Calvinism isn’t readily practiced on my courts. I am grateful we had the depth to push these young ladies up to a challenge they almost pulled off against a better duo of opponents. They certainly played harder and saw more quality tennis than they would have on court 3. Tonight for them, it was all about the experience.
Court 3 dubs of Avery McCaskill and Lauren Harris did wonderful. In taking Parkland’s #1 dubs to task last Friday, Coach gave them an opportunity against a more seasoned team. In a side note, it looks like each team will be sending three dubs and three singles into the conference tourney. Clearly, with tonight’s performance, Avery and Lauren have all but secured their footing as Cowgirls #3 dubs contenders. Back to the match! Both sides holding serves the first four exchanges, the Cowgirls found a break. Though the Hornet’s line calls were creative at times, the Cowgirls focused in on holding their own, bringing in their shots well within the lines and playing to their strengths. the Hornet’s could do little against Lauren’s punishing serves and excellent forehands. Avery’s backhands and down the middle shots hastened the demise of the Hornets. The hornets held only once more in the match, while the Cowgirls walked away with an 8-3 victory.
Audrey Serb (SW) over Brooke Henley (W) 6-1, 6-0
Annie Vo (SW) over River Ward (W) 6-2, 6-3
Tran Nguyen (SW) over Rachel Johnson ((W) 6-1, 6-0
Julia Boes (W) over Nicole Sopala (SW) 7-5, 6-2
Maggie Mugi (SW) over Ailish Flaherty (W) 6-2, 6-2
Shaini Lal (SW) over Maggie Scott (W) 6-0, 6-2
Cowgirls win in singles play.
Moved some teams up to prep for conference tourney.
Vo/Nguyen (SW) over Henley/Johnson 8-4
Ward/Boes (W) over Mugi/Lal (SW) 9-7
Avery McCaskill/Lauren Harris (SW) over Flaherty/Scott (W) 8-3
Cowgirls over the Lady Hornets 7-2 in conference tennis action.
Cowgirls rise to 2-1 in conference and 4-4 overall.
Cowgirls host NW on Wednesday.