Southwest Guilford High School
Womens Varsity Tennis
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Sep 28, 2023
- COWBOYS: 5.00
BISHOP MCGUINNESS CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL: 4.00
September 28, 2023
The Cowgirls hosting the Lady Villains of Bishop McGuiness.
A Special thanks to the W LAX team and the wonderful teachers to trekked across the great divide to be regaled by the Cowgirl's play, lush green hillside, snacks (Thank you Mode), and the music talents of the live band playing for ambiance!
By far, the most competitive match the Cowgirls have played this season.
The ladies are getting tired of hearing this, but I do not care too much about winning and losing. Winning is great, but it covers issues best dealt with now. Losing is akin to ripping the dressing off before it is time and exposing it to the air and light…not a good thing. Oh… to find that perfect balance across all courts and levels of play.
This season we have won, and we have lost, but tonight we played most excellently as a team.
To set expectations….3 third set tiebreakers. Two sets that went 7-5. Six sets that were decided at 4-6/6-4. Two matches decided by a 7-9 score. Ladies and gentlemen, it was a tight match.
Long time readers may remember my references to Tums or another antiacid in years past. Tonight was one of those matches.
Anna’s game was off. The Lady Villain’s game disrupted Anna’s flow. Ironic. Normally it is Anna disrupting others. Anna’s forehand simply wasn’t finding its mark. Anna fought and held serve, but there was a struggle on court 1. Back and forth, Anna did battle. The Lady Villain’s shots were consistent and deep…until a short ball was warranted. Anna traded shots, serves, and tried her slices to mixed results. The Lady Villain simply had the legs to run most shots down and the returns to keep the ball deep and out of Anna’s sweet spot. A break, 4-6 to the Lady Villain.
Down 0-1 in the second set, Anna dug deep. Like the other Cowgirls, Anna has developed a nice stroke with power, spin, depth, and accuracy. This is due in part to her playing #1 all season and her work leading up to this season. It isn’t that her older game is useless, rather, the new game this season looks and feels how tennis should look and feel. But sometimes we need to take a step back and begin again. This is simply what Anna did. Down 0-1, Anna began her climb. Pulling back on the power and emphasizing her placement and deeper lift, this took the Lady Villain by surprise. All Set Long. Anna’s shift to the slower game of early this season/last year was just the ticket to roll the stone in her direction.
Anna takes the second set 6-1. Unfortunately, The Lady Villain finally dialed in Anna’s game play. In the end, Anna fought well, came back and pushed her opponent to a third set, but was unable to finish off the Lady Villain in the tiebreaker.
Evelyn played well tonight. Not in the vein of she played well and lost. Nor was it she won against a mediocre player. No! Evelyn played well and won tonight!
Evelyn is doesn’t let emotions ger the best of her…..ha! of course, she does, but tonight’s match Evelyn was able to keep a level head throughout both sets of singles play. On serve throughout the first set until the end, both the Lady Villain and Evelyn kept it close in game play and in single points throughout. The Lady Villain had a quality shorter ball, but after the third game, Evelyn dialed this in and was able to craft it to her advantage. A break, Evelyn wins the first 6-4.
Being mindful of the second set bump, Evelyn saw her opponent begin hitting even lower, shorter shots forcing the Cowgirl to run faster and closer to the net. Down 0-3, Evelyn, in response, was able to hit shorter ones still and return the favor. Yes, all set, left and right…up and back along the court. These two were both evenly skilled, which amounted to longer rallies with each attempting to hit a winning shot. Evelyn breaks back and draws it even mid set. Both hold their serve. Evelyn holds again…and to take the match, Evelyn out plays her opponent to win the match 4 and 4.
Rachael did excellent tonight. Not only was she able to play her new and bigger game, but her game showed her the love and joy of a win. It was tight!
Rachael and her Lady Villain counterpart were evenly matched. The Lady Villain could hit better angles but was not as consistent as Rachael. Rachael used this to her advantage. Long rallies ensued. Back and forth, close and deep. These two were a sight to behold on the court. But a late set break by the Villain closed the opportunity for Rachael in the first set.
This simply would not do. There was no glaring defects in Rachael’s play. There was no great advantage in the Lady Villain’s play either. This came down to Rachael. And Rachael wanted the win. The second set bump favored the Cowgirls on court 3. Deeper shots, better angles making the Lady Villain run one more step, and a growing confidence in Rachael’s slices…by far the deciding factor in her play tonight. In short, a break, and holding all her serves was enough to win the second set 6-3. Ah yes! We are going into a third set tiebreak!
Understand Coach came back to this match late. Already in mid tiebreak, Rachael was moving well. Unfortunately, so too was her opponent. Both were trying everything they had. High spins were countered, drop shots were covered, angles were negated and returned once more. Taking up the action at 8-8, just two more points to hold and win court 3. A longer rally, a short shot to Dee, covered, returned as a backhand slice, but too low, the net it found. 8-9. Rachael just didn’t hustle, she ran to cover the shots. Nice lifts, deeper spin, an angle, the Lady Villain tried to cover it with her single handed backhand….no! tied once more, 9-9. A shorter rally, the Lady Villain nets the ball. 10-9. You have to win by two points. Serve, solid returns by both, a down the line shot by Rachael, covered by the Lady Villain, return, a slice, the Lady Villain scrambles, but pushes it long….Rachael found her shots, hit her game, and won an exceptionally close match. Truly a match to remember.
Church did not have an easy time on Court 4. The Lady Villain had faster shots, attacked more from the mid court, and was consistent. Church dug deep though. Up a break early in the first set, this advantage was soon erased, and these two players were back on serve. Church had the hole shot though with her uncanny placement and lifts to the back court. More often than not, as the Lady Villain found an opening with a mid court shot, Church covered the gap and managed a return higher than her opponent and deeper than she could run back to return. Another break, Church takes the first set.
The second set bump. Across all the courts tonight…and not just favoring the Cowgirls. Church’s opponent hit better the second set. Deeper, better, better angles, but Church kept hunting the shots down and returning them high enough to keep the Lady Villain back. When shorter, the Lady Villain would attack, pushing deep, and once more, Church’s lob was timely as it was well placed much to the chagrin of her opponent. Consistency won it for Church tonight. The second set went on (not quite) forever. Until the last game where Church broke (once more) her opponent. 6-4, 7-5.
A quick break to speak of Bella’s play on court 6 before Christman’s match on 5.
Bella dialed in her opponent almost immediately. Allowing for only one hold in her opponent’s service games, Bella takes the first 6-1. The dreaded second set bump. Her opponent came out swinging in the second set. Deeper, higher, Bella could not longer force her game on her opponent. Coach spoke briefly. Change the game, step back 1, 2 steps, hit Bella’s shots…hit out on them a bit more to give some room and hold the Lady Villain deeper. Cue interlude music while Bella processed and enacted the plan. Down a break, Bella bided her time. Pace was slower than the first set. Rallies were longer. Coach grew older by the minute. But it began to work. Taking back the direction and eventual control of the Match, Bella broke back and limited the Lady Villain to only 4 games in the second set, breaking again to take the match 1 and 4.
Christman ending up being the third, third setter of the evening. Had Coach had to bet money, he would have placed it on Bella to have the longest match of the night, but No! Christman took that honor tonight.
Facing off against a bigger hitter all around with better angles and serve, the first set was not kind to Christman. Footwork was off and as such, so too was her swings and shots. It was rough. 1-6 the first set complete.
Coach returned from the mountain top with a veil around his face, but it was still glowing from being in the presence of the Lord. In his hands the Lord crafted a strategy, on stone tablets, to show the path Christman must follow to reach a victory.
As lovely as that imagery seems, SW tennis courts do not lie near a holy mountain. Both Coach Wesney and Coach tagteam’ed coaching tonight on court 5. Our guidance wasn’t prophetic, but it was timely and enough to get Christman’s gears a’turn’n. In short, move the feet, get in position, the rest will follow. That was mid 1st set. Taking time to settle in, Christman began acting out on the wisdom in the second set.
Service games were held. Running improved. Mistakes were minimized. 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-5 break, and to take the set, a hold at 7-5.
Both were running low on batteries and much like the current state of EV charging stations, there were not any near. Both sides battled. Christman wanted to win, but the Lady Villain played like she wanted to more. Down 1-5 at the swap (actually 1-6…they forgot to swap until one point later), Christman once more changed her game. Slowing the ball down and lifting it way up, Christman decided to outlast her opponent. So much hitting tonight! Coach simply lost count of the tiebreaker being it the third tiebreaker of the evening. Christman began to claw back. No longer playing into the Lady Villain’s shots, the Villain tried to counter but with a higher ball all she could do is to hit to Christman’s backhand. This worked. Christman would hit the 1st backhand well, but subsequent backhands kept getting shorter and shorter in depth. This is a bad thing. The Lady Villain was able to push deeper and get to the net for an overhead…of which she ended up missing 5 separate times. Think not this was due to the hitting prowess of Christman’s backhand, rather, a happy (for the Cowgirl) confluence of fatigue and shot selection.
After taking the lead at 7-6, the Lady Villain had three match points….fall apart on her. 7-7, 7-8, 8-8. Move to 9-9. The ladies really know how to share. Christman goes up 10-9. A chance….but no! 10-10. An opportunity for the Lady Villain at 11-10…but Christman pulls it back in. 11-11.
Oh yes, it keeps going. Coach was beside himself. 12-12, 13-13 both ladies having another shot at the match. 14-13 christman, and with another near marathon high hitting rally full of placement to Christman’s backhand, lobs going shorter, Lady Villain up to the net and an error…Christman takes the longest match of the night 1-6, 7-5, 1-0 (15-13).
It was a great night of singles. Once more, it was the closest (top down) of play for each of the Cowgirls this season. Each court saw the Cowgirls and Lady Villains play their new game, adopt a new game or play a retro version of their older game. Every court saw a second set bump. On some games we won. On others we simply outlasted. But on all the courts, the Cowgirls played well.
The Cowgirls take the Lady Villains 5-1 in singles.
Dubs. Exciting, shot filled, and close. Once more, what else could Coach ask for?
McKnight/Church fought well but ended up falling short of a win.
McGinnis/Johnson was an opportunity at 7-6 to extend their lead, but errors evened the score while a small pop in consistency and frantic energy saw the Lady Villains take court 2 9-7.
So too for court 3. Dee/Christman had the opportunity drawing back to deuce at 7-6. Ad in. a match point away, but the Lady Villains proved too consistent and focused in dubs tonight.
Though the Cowgirls dropped all three dubs, each court, top down, played exceptionally well.
The Cowgirls finish the evening 5-4 in a very tight match.
Sarah Pullian (BM) over Anna McGinnis (SW) 6– 4, 1–6,1-0(10-1)
Evelyn McKnight (SW) over Lily Winters (BM) 6–4, 6–4
Rachael Dee (SWG) over Caroline Duggan (BM) 4–6, 6–3, 1–0, (11–9)
Caroline Church (SWG) over Kate Dennan(BM) 6–4, 7–5
Caroline Christman (SWG) over Anne Overman ( BM) 1–6, 7–5, 1–0 (15–13)
Bella Johnson (SW) over Sarah Briody (BM) 6–1, 6–4
Pulliam/winters (BM) over McKnight/Church(SW), 8–3
Duggan/Dennan(p.m.) over McGinnis/Johnson(SW)9–7
Overman/ Niki Hofer (BM), over Dee/Christman (SW) 9–7
And an exceptionally tight match tonight versus the lady villains of Bishop McGuinness high school. The cowgirls prevail by the narrowest of margins.
The cowgirls improve to 9–11 overall, and remain 3–9 in conference.
The cowgirls will host Ragsdale on Monday.