Womens Varsity Tennis
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Jun 1, 2021
- COWBOYS: 6
WESTERN GUILFORD HIGH SCHOOL: 3
June 1, 2021
Cowgirls defeat conference foe Western Guilford 6-3 in tennis action
Tonight wasn’t a foregone conclusion as much as it was a night of potential for the Cowgirls. Having soundly defeated the Lady Hornets 7-2 last time, there was room to play with positioning and new entries into the top 6.
Enter in Audrey Toney….no, not the long lost twin of Audrey Serb (#1)…for singles and Kate Cherry/Betsy Chen for doubles. More of them later.
Audrey still going for perfect in regular season play moved one step closer to that goal. 0 and 0. Though the Hornet #1 (Brooke) hit solid shots and could hang with most of Audrey’s punishing shots, she could little in closing out a game and thus earning a double blank for the evening.
Annie came back from Florida for tonight’s match. Thank you Annie and Road Warriors Mr and Mrs Vo! With little sign of fatigue from the trip, Annie quickly took the first set 6-1, breaking her counterpart twice. Not satisfied with her first set performance, the Hornet raised her game going into the second set, hitting out more on the ball, pushing Annie beyond the service Line and in doing so, crippling Annie’s answers that put her ahead in the first set. After a brief chat with Coach, Annie refocused, and seeing the opportunities before her was able to better gauge her own shots and quickly turn the tide against the Lady Hornet. 1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6 game in a row, with three straight breaks to regain the lead and finish the match in two sets. Great mental strength tonight Annie! Well Done! 1 and 3.
Nicole swapped positions with Tran early last week for the Mt Tabor match. Seeing success there on both fronts (courts #3 and 4), the Cowgirls will keep this line up through the season. Nicole, previously playing #4 v Western unfortunately etched a loss on that occasion on the scoreboard against Hornet Ms. Boes. Now playing up to #3, guess what? So was Ms. Boes! Yes, we were very excited for a rematch on the sidelines. Though slow going at first, Nicole picked up the 1st set victory 6-4 with a late break against the Hornet. Adding more coal to stoke the fire, Nicole began to step into the ball more while her opponent clearly suffered in part from the rate of play, the harder hits, and fatigue from the heat and sub, Nicole was able to dictate most points in the second set taking it 6-1 with little fanfare. We are very proud of Nicole being able to play her game more consistently and apply it more broadly to a variety of playing styles as the season progresses.
Tran was the first Cowgirl off the courts tonight in fact. The exact time, as we go to print, is yet unclear, but it was quick. There was little the Hornet could do to stop the Nguyen onslaught. Playing her game of hitting out more, better corners, and a growing serve, Tran allowed the Hornet to attempt to play a bigger game, but failing to do so. In short, Tran overpowered the Hornet 0 and 0.
Western player (normally Rachel Johnson) on Court #3 couldn’t make it tonight. The rest of Westerns line up shifted up.
Maggi played what Coach called the battle of the Maggi(e)’s. Yes, both teams put up their best Maggi(e) to decide court # 5. Well, that was the build up and in fact, the build up was better than the play on court 5. Maggi (SW) took charge from the onset. Allowing only one game earned in each set, Maggi’s serve was on point tonight and coupled with her forehand and backhands, The Hornet was at a loss for answers. It didn’t help much that most shots the Hornet delivered back to Maggi came at Maggi’s sweet swing range. 1 and 1 was the final score. Western’s Maggie will now have to change her name to Barbara or Susie. Maybe Barbara Sue. We didn’t get into the name alternatives for the loser of the match, but Coach is confident the Western Player Formerly known as Maggie will love her new name and quickly adopt it as her own…….
Winning singles now 5-0 and thus the match, the focus turned to Court #6 with middle/early college newbie Audrey Toney. Audrey just began tennis during the Covid break we all endured. She applied herself to her studies and the game of Tennis. A good rally hitter (able to keep the ball in play), Coach decided to pop her in and give her a shot at Varsity.
Did I tell you it was a bit warm out there today? If you were a part of the Senior graduation practice down on the field from 3-5 today, you know how
miserable wonderful it was outside. Hot, sultry (but not in a good way) and standing on a court that had been warmed/baked by the sun for entire day took its toll on several of the Lady Hornets…..and so too on Court #6 for the beginning Cowgirl. Up 5-2 in the first with eyes on the prize, Audrey Toney began to fade quickly from the heat. Holding on the best she could, 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, 5-5, 5-6, 5-7. Beginning the second sect down 0-1, Coach intervened and after chatting with the Cowgirl, congratulated Ms. Klink of Western for a good match and her penchant for running down everything Ms. Toney had to offer and as such, Ms Toney retired from the match giving Western their only Singles victory of the evening.
Ms Toney is ok. Quickly getting her to shade, an ice pack, gummies (truly a magical food) and a bottle of water, Coach kept watchful eye over the Cowgirl. Maggi (the real one…not the Western formerly known as version) also watched over her friend and sat with her for the duration of doubles. Maggie, great leadership and friendship. Thank you.
Was Coach angry at Court 6 Cowgirl? NO! Heat happens. And this being her first foray into the vaulted heights of singles play in the heat, there will always be unknowns both player and coach needs to be mindful of in tennis. Coach knows her heart. Audrey had her girl against the ropes, but the conditions just got the best of her. Audrey will be a continue to be a fine recreational tennis player in the future.
Cowgirls lead 5-1 after Singles, securing the match before dubs began.
In taking the match after singles play, the dubs lineup changed greatly.
Audrey and Nicole – out.
Annie/Tran – up
Shaini couldn’t make it due to grad practice and family coming into town
Maggi – out
Dubs team of Avery McCaskill/Lauren Harris – who will be representing Southwest in the Doubles Conference Tourney beginning next week (June 9th) – in
Kate Cherry/Betsy Chen – in
Did we sweep 3-0 in an incredible display of Doubles might? No.
But the Cowgirls played well.
Annie and Tran ran afoul the second time encountering the #1 dubs team from Westrern. With Rachel Johnson out, Boes was in for the Hornets. Boes, if the reader remembers from the last Western write up, loves the i formation. Yes, capital i. She goes up to the net and plays center. This shut down Maggie/Shaini when we hosted the Hornets back on May 17th. Apparently, this is a really good strategy against teams with struggle to change on the fly. In doing it again, it shut down the Cowgirls crosscourt strength and nullified much of the added benefit of playing two back (vs one up, one back as in traditional dubs play). Though Annie and Tran had sufficient lobs, with Boes up front and Brooke in back, lobs were simply punted back resetting the shot and giving the Cowgirls another opportunity to hit….another lob and a Brooke return…….and another lob and another Brooke return…..until something broke. Unfortunately, it was on the Cowgirl’s side that the strategy felt the most strain. Unable to hit through or around effectively, the lobs would falter and Western’s Boes would pick the net shot clean delivering point after point. Annie and Tran fell 4-8. The good news is this is not the regular #1 dubs for Western and as such, the Cowgirls should still get a high seed in the tournament come the coaches meeting next Sunday evening.
Kate and Betsy played their shots. When Kate was at the net and the ball came in her zone, she had little issue getting to it and earning the point. Though Coach may have heard incorrectly, I think Kate said she loves playing the net, the face action play, and the number of balls coming right at her. I guess we will need to see come next season. (evil laughter in the background) Betsy did well with her play from the baseline when she could adequately prepare for the shot. She would deliver it long and higher over the head of the Western net player. Unfortunately, it was not enough. Outpaced on a fair number of shots and out angled as well, the Cowgirls fought well but eventually fell 2-8.
But the real surprise of the night was on Court #2 with Avery and Lauren. Yes the Hornets were playing a woman down, but what benefitted them on court 1 was to their detriment on court #2. Now understand Lauren and Avery are no slouch players. They defeated Parkland’s #1 and #2 dubs team (different play dates), HPC’s #2, Western #3 (previously). So tonight, going against a bigger hitting Hornet duo, the Cowgirls gladly took on the challenge. Holding serve the first 4 games on both sides, the Cowgirls lassoed the Hornet and did not give up the advantage. Avery’s strength was her baseline play and Lauren her net play. Allowing only 2 more games for the Hornets, the Cowgirls rode into the sunset 8-4 and quite possibly set themselves up for a seed come tournament time. Time will tell. Expect the write up of the coaches meeting later Sunday evening or Monday early.
Doubles slide to the Hornets on the stats, Cowgirls, already having secured the victory, relished in the opportunity for the not so often seen Cowgirls to have their chance in varsity play. Well played Cowgirls!
Cowgirls defeat Western Guilford 6-3 in conference tennis action solidifying their 5-1 conference record and upping their overall to 8-3 with two more matches before conference play.
The Lady Hornets fall to 2-4 in conference play.
The box scores:
Audrey Serb (SW) over Brooke Henley (WG) 6-0, 6-0
Annie Vo (SW) over River Ward(WG) 6-1, 6-3
Nicole Sopala (SW) over Julia Boes(WG) 6-4, 6-1
Tran Nguyen (SW) over Ailish Flaherty(WG) 6-0, 6-0
Maggi Mugi (SW) over Maggie Scott(WG) 6-1, 6-1
Nora Klink (WG) over Audrey Toney(SW) 5-7, 0-1
Henley/Boes (WG) over Vo/Nguyen(SW) 4-8
Harris/McCaskill (SW) over Flaherty/Ward(WG) 8-4
Scott/Klink (WG) over Kate Cherry/Betsy Chen(SW) 2-8
SW play host to bishop McGuinness on Thursday weather permitting.