Southwest Guilford High School
Womens Varsity Tennis
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Sep 11, 2023
- COWBOYS: 1
NORTHWEST GUILFORD HIGH SCHOOL: 8
Sept 11, 2023
For those of us old enough to remember, a moment of silence for today.
The Cowgirls hosted the Lady Vikings of NW tonight. Temps were warm, but not excessive. Singles went great! No, we did not win it all. By the end the Cowgirls only won one court with a good look at another, but top down, the ladies play was exceptional. They took stock, they adjusted, they changed their games in some small way to push back against the wall. And on every court, the wall began to move. Move, mind you, not tumble. But movement is good for a team as young as ours.
I remember the first time we won even a court off NW. The chink in their armor was forever exposed. Though the Cowgirls fought well, it was Maggie Jermyn, 10+ years ago, who took that first win from the Vikings. Since then we have performed well, even taking them as a team, but tonight was special.
Let’s go through the rest of the line up and save the best stories for last.
Dubs. On all three courts, play and movement were good. The Viking simply had us tonight to wrap up the match. McGinnis/McKnight, Dee/Church, and Wesney/Perko all played well and had good shots. Crosscourts were excellent. We have been working on these. But by the third to fourth shot, the Cowgirls couldn’t hold pace with the Vikings. Kudos to them for being a very complete team. We will continue to search for and find the dubs magic.
I think what could end every single write up for singles tonight is this: the Cowgirl “played her game and upped their consistency which forced their opponents to play a different game, a game where they weren’t always pushing the points on the Cowgirl.” Again, kudos to the Vikings in their efforts, but the Cowgirls really made them work for it tonight.
Evelyn on 2 played her most consistent game yet this season. Finally having a hitter v a pusher/lobber allowed Ms McKnight to hit out, but yet she stayed reserved in her hitting. Most points were 5+ shots with Evelyn in every single point. A Consistent topspin was the key. Footwork synced as well. Her opponent continued to pummel, but late in the first set, seeing Evelyn constancy, changed her tactic. Though enough to win, Evelyn “played her game and upped her consistency which forced their opponents to play a different game, a game where Viking wasn’t always pushing the points on the Cowgirl.”
Rachael hits were outstanding tonight. She had focus and direction. Deep spin shots were the norm for today. She moved so well on the court. Not just right and left but to the net and back with crafted shots. The best yet, Rachael was in every single game tonight. At least to 30 if not deuce. The Viking held strong, but Rachael’s play was big, bold, and confident. Points were longer thanks to Rachael hitting prowess on the courts. It was a lovely sight to see her embrace this game tonight. Rachael “played her game and upped her consistency which forced their opponents to play a different game, a game where Viking wasn’t always pushing the points on the Cowgirl.”
Coach believes you have it now. Coach will mark the last line with a * and allow you to reference the reading above to complete each story.
Truth be told, Church, Christman, and Bella should have been pushed off the courts by the shots exhibited by their opponents. But they were not. Each of these ladies opted for a new game and made the Vikings work exceptionally hard for their victory.
Church played a spitball of a hitter with good angles. Honestly, the first set Caroline was a bit overwhelmed. The Viking could do little wrong while the Cowgirl fought to and fro for every point…but most of the returns had the same answer. Vikings. In the second though, Church began to slow the Viking’s roll. Changing strategy, lifting and pushing deeper, this took control out of the Vikings hands. Church, though unable to secure a break, held each of her first 4 serves in the second. But adjusting the pace of the ball, Caroline could craft her shots and direct them. Points pushed longer. The Viking had to run. It was lovely. In the end, Caroline…*.
Christman moved her opponent around the most tonight. The Viking had a good serve and play to back it up. Caroline had her playing moxie and began from the get go, to slow down the roll of the Viking by hitting (and directing) her shots to not Middle. Not Middle is a great concept. It literally means not the middle. Kinda like “Not the Momma” from an old ABC sitcom called Dinosaurs. Christman did that. Anywhere but the middle. She kept her composure throughout. She kept the viking on her toes. She went down swinging 4 and 2. Caroline….*
OK, last two courts.
Bella played what would have been the longest match ever played on SW courts had she won at near 2 hrs 30 mins. The difference was only 2 points.
Losing the first set 2-6 to a bigger hitter, Bella composed herself and began to chip away at her opponents game. Instead of matching her stroke for stroke, Bella, like the others before her, slowed the viking down and forced her to play Bella’s game. The second set went in our favor, 6-3 forcing a tiebreaker. Reader, please understand we were 2 hrs plus into this match. Backs were sore. The Viking showed visible discomfort when bending down to pick up a ball. Bella simply stood and stretched for a bit during one of the changeovers. Ultimately, this game turned from hitting shots to win to keeping the ball in play through ridiculously long rallies and back and forth with glimpses of direction and gamesmanship. The final set/3rd set tiebreaker went down like this:
6-6, swap sides
7-7, even once more
7-9, Bella facing two match points
8-9, still facing match point
9-9, even once more
10-9, match point opportunity for the Cowgirl
10-10, Coach cursing beneath his breath and out of the ear shot of others
11-10, another opportunity
11-12, got to get this point to draw even again
11-13, final, Vikings win.
I cannot say it was through exceptional hitting that this game was won or through endless errors that the match was lost. Both side played to exhaustion. The saddest part of this match was that someone had to lose. Bella promises a different result next time. Bella….*
The one victory of tonight was credited to Anna McGinnis.
But first, a historical perspective from last year.
Fall 2022, 1st meeting against NW that season.
Sept 12, 2022 - Hanna Gentel (NW) over Anna McGinnis (SW) 6-0, 6-3
Memorable, not really, save for this was the first match that season Anna had taken the reins of court 2 instead of her reg court 3.
Again, Anna was still growing, developing her shots, no biggie. But by the end of the season,
Oct 5, 2022 - Anna McGinnis (SW) over Hannah Gentel (NW) 6-1, 7-5
She did it! She took down the lady Viking in an exceptional turn of events. Yes, feasting and celebration all around…at least for the Cowgirls. Weeping and gnashing of teeth, at least on viking’s court 2.
Fast forward to this season, Fall 2023. Gentel came out of the box swinging. She had developed a good topspin that bounced higher than Anna could adequately come ‘round the ball effectively. Ugle, but true, 0-6 in the first. In calling coach over, Coach explained what was going on. The kick of the spin caused the ball to go higher and in turn, negate Anna’s lively backhand and forehand…regulating them to a reactionary role rather than a proactive one pushing the points. Anna found her game. Though not the power game she wanted, she also slowed the shots down, lifting the ball higher and out of the first set range of the Viking. Though tight at first, the viking began to hit out a bit much and in doing so, began to make errors. Anna simply hit her game. As became short, anna had a game to put them either away or hit it well enough to literally push the viking into a corner and by extension, a bad shot.
6-3, swinging back to the Cowgirls.
The tiebreaker – race to ten. A point at a time. Anna had the mental edge. Coach could only image that young Gentel was playing back last season’s ending in her mind. The Viking looked fatigued. At the end, Anna prevails, 0-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5).
Takeaway….as witnessed by multiple courts tonight, owned power that can be pushed on other opponents play can greatly direct a game. But make sure that game is solid before beginning. Because what happens when you are taking out of that game…where does your power go?
Though the Vikings played well and overcame the Cowgirls on all but 1 court, the Cowgirls forced their opponents to shift their game strategy to win. Points were longer. Shots were tested through several iterations of the longer rallies. The Cowgirls played their respective games, upped their consistency which forced their opponents to play a different game, a game where Viking had to adapt. A game where the Cowgirls made in roads tonight.
Well played ladies.
Anna McGinnis (SW) over Hanna Gurtel (NW) 0-6, 6-3, 10-5
Renny Antony (NW) over Evelyn McKnight (SW) 6-3, 6-1
Valeria Whalen (NW) over Rachel Dee (SW) 6-0, 6-1
Gina Byon (NW) over Caroline Church (SW) 6-0, 6-4
Cameron McCollen (NW) over Caroline Christman (SW) 6-4, 6-2
Angelena Esposito (NW) over Bella Johnson (SW) 6-2, 3-6, 13-11
Antony/ Parades-Whalen(NW) over McGinnis/ McKnight (SW) 8-2
Byon/ Mcollum (NW) over Dee/Church (SW)
Addison Bryant/Nadia Nourddine (NW) over Perko/ Wesney (SW) 6-1
SW falls to 6-7 overall and 2-5 in the conference
SW will host page on Wednesday.