Southwest Guilford High School
Womens Varsity Tennis
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Oct 5, 2022
- COWBOYS: 3
NORTHWEST GUILFORD HIGH SCHOOL: 6
Cowgirls fall to the Lady Vikings of NW 3-6 in conference tennis play
Temperature was perfect. ALL the Cowgirls played their games…and when their games didn’t work on a few of the courts, transitioned effortlessly to plan B to continue their stand against a talented team tonight. Though true we only held 3 courts…the same as last time, but the play was so much closer point for point and more intense. No Cowgirl left points on the table. On every court they fought and fought hard. Let Coach spin you a brief tale of tonight’s adventures.
Audrey rocked the NW’s #1 tonight. From the start, Audrey ‘s presence, shots, mid-court prowess and net play were just too much for the Lady Viking. Much like the last time, she had little to extend her own game to the level that Audrey brought to the table. Ms. Gentel tried everything she had…even executing beautiful drop shots right over the net…something new to her toolkit. Coach loves when the players develop new shots…especially the Cowgirls, but to the Viking’s credit, she played well. And as for the new dropshot….yep, Audrey countered it with deft approaches and a well formed drop shot of her own or a passing shot of which the Viking had no answer. Audrey wins 1 and 2.
Skipping down a couple of talent spots, Rachael and Betsy both drew a Viking wall. No, “Wall” wasn’t their name, rather, that was they style of play. Betsy’s opponent left her little for traction as she simply dominated the match. The Viking’s play was approx. three years of lessons and play superior to Betsy’s current level of play. Betsy hit her shots and ran her game, but it wasn’t enough to counter the Viking tonight. So too for Rachael’s play. The Viking had her for consistency and shots coupled with a higher-than-normal hitting bounce which caused great trouble for the Cowgirl. In the second set though, Rachael found her range, depth of ball and began playing a much-elevated game. Consistency went up, so too Rachael’s hitting percentage and length of game points. Though still very much behind the 8 ball. Rachael’s length of point doubled and tripled in length. Serving percentages went up along with the level of play. Rachael was hitting deeper and bigger than she had all season which did a great job holding the Viking back and frustrating her forward momentum. But in the end, the Viking regained her shots, changing again her own game to beat the Cowgirl. Though not in our favor, both these spots played hard and well, playing their own game, and adjusting to the Viking’s level in a beautiful manner.
Jada, though winning in an epic way last encounter with the Vikings, was unable to match that level of play this time round. Falling 3 and 4, Jada kept the pressure up and the Viking shifted strategies early on so as not to repeat the same mistakes that took her game down last time. Playing much more aggressively with her shots down the lines and executing beautiful crosscourts, the Viking had Jada on the ropes from the start. After losing her serve initially, Jada found a foothold and the two opponents traded shots and games back and forth. With a falter in the Cowgirl’s service game again, the Viking took the first set. Holding tight once more with many deuce games along the way, the Viking proved too much for Jada breaking her serve once more the secure the match. Clearly, the Viking had grown from the first time these two played. Though Jada had grown as well, tonight the Viking edged the Cowgirl to take the #6 spot with a win.
Now for the truly juicy bits.
Lauren, finally free of her injuries, played like a beast tonight against the #3 Viking. Clear and above, tonight’s play showed the crowd (approx. 3 thousand in attendance tonight…yes, Christman was happy with the gate receipts tonight) what the big hitter could do. Though dropping the first set 2-6 while she dialed in her opponent’s game, Lauren came on strong in the second. Up 1-0, losing a serve, trading the next few, and then breaking back to take it to 5-3, the Viking showed her strength and held her own…5-4. Lauren’s serves did not disappoint. Keeping her opponent back near the baseline and preventing the Viking from playing her strengths, Lauren kept the pressure on down the line and crosscourt. Yes, points were much longer this second set. And Lauren’s legs kept running. Behind in points and games, the Viking pulled out all the stops. Length, cross court, and lots of drop shots to through a wrench into Lauren’s game…but at the end of the second set, Lauren came out ahead 6-4 forcing the 3rd set tiebreaker.
Alas, though running her end off and best yet, not overhitting the ball for the great majority of the points played, rather, consistent and well directed top spins on both sides (forehands and backhands), Lauren came up 2 points shy of the victory mark. Down several points in the tiebreaker, Lauren rallied beautifully bringing it near even at 8-9…but ultimately falling short in the race to 10 by two small points. Coach was ecstatic over Lauren’s play tonight. Not only did Lauren’s play harken back to last’s years impressive hitter, but it also almost brought her to victory lane against a former Viking #1 player by only two points. Quite the impressive feat after falling to the same Viking 3 and 2 last time. Kudos to Lauren on the impressive play tonight!
And last for the singles tonight. Not only did this Cowgirl fall to the same Viking last time by the score of 0 and 3 (Reader, this means it wasn’t really close at all….see Audrey’s score and playing update above), Coach remembers there was a comment about Anna’s perfectly groomed hair. Truly, Anna’s hair was on point. Just kidding. Coach likes to think he is funny sometimes. But yes, Anna’s hair is almost always immaculate. No, the Viking mentioned nothing about Anna’s hair…though that would have been a great subtext to tonight’s devastation against a much bigger hitter….Oh! That’s right, allow Coach to share with you tonight’s last single’s play.
Anna entered in tonight still fresh with the memory of the last outing against the Vikings. 0 and 3. Not good, but truth be told, Ms. Gentel (yes! There are two of them….and if you are a long time reader, technically three…she has but since graduated) played flawlessly last time. Corner to corner and baseline to baseline coupled with higher rising shots, Anna had little to work with in her play last time against the Viking. Tonight though, it changed. Taking the first game by holding, Anna immediately went to work against the Viking. Holding her own shot for shot and length for length, Anna burned through the consistency game by varying her shots height, length, and then began to through in her ever-developing slice and drop shots causing great consternation on the Viking’s side. Clearly, the Viking had expected the same Anna from last time. “He he he he,” Coach chuckled beneath his breath as things unfolded on court 2.
The Viking held her own serve to tie it up at 1 all, but that was it for the game count incrementation from the Viking the first set. Anna’s game was peaking. She traded baseline rallies like a season player, drawing, pulling, running, and slicing her way to the first set win 6-1. The Viking looked like the student and Anna the master this go round. Expecting a second set bump, Anna held tight. Losing the first Viking service game, Anna held her own drawing the tie 1-1. But the Viking bump continued. Anna’s opponent began working her way into the net, pushing the shots deep and hard in her approach, forcing Anna back and the return shots simply lost some of their luster as the Viking dominated the next 4 games, breaking Anna twice in the process.
Now down 2-5, Anna saw the point spread move a great deal on the line feed from her bookie. Not having that, Anna broke the Viking’s serve…and held…and broke….and held….and broke once more to give the Cowgirl the biggest win of her career…Coach is just happy Anna is only a sophomore.
From a loss to a profoundly loud win, Anna fooled the bookies and earned a new level of respect going into Conference seeding decisions this Saturday. 😊
Down 2-4 after singles, Doubles went better than expected. Though losing both courts 2 and 3 in dubs, both Cowgirls’ teams played very well. The points were much longer, and the Viking had to earn most all the points awarded (few unforced errors on the Cowgirls’ part). Net play was spirited on both courts, but especially so on Rachael’s and Betsy’s court. Serves were consistent and deep…simply everything came together for the last regular season match. Jada and Church, fell behind early, but mounted a small comeback, piecing together 3 games before the Viking closed the doors. Rachael and Betsy kept the ball away from the Viking’s net person, playing it high and wide to force the rallies longer. So too for Jada and Church. Dubs looked like dubs should. Though the Vikings proved too much for these two courts, the Cowgirls proved they had come a long way in their dubs playing potential.
The one Win from dubs came from Audrey and Anna in their last reg season and last dubs match together as Cowgirls. Audrey is a senior and both these Cowgirls tasked themselves to play as singles in the Conference tourney. With no postseason expected in dual team, tonight was it for these two.
Playing a much tighter game than the first time out 8-1 drilling, the Vikings left no stone unturned in their pursuit of a win against the Cowgirls. Though up initially, the Cowgirls hit a slick patch of ice as the Vikings battled forward, holding, breaking, and holding once more. Through 4-5, 4-6, 5-6, 5-7 and the game on the line, Anna served for the crucial game. Audrey at the net, Anna’s serves hit their intended target on the court and as the returns came, Audrey was there to cut them off. Trying to hit bigger and around Audrey proved too much for the Vikings. Errors came and then multiplied for the Vikings as the Cowgirls held, 6-7. Still match game, the Cowgirls deftly held the line and watched as the Vikings fell away. 7 – 7. Once more on serve, the Cowgirls were ramping up their game. Owning the net and mid-court, Only the longer hits proved useful against the Cowgirls…but the higher and longer hitting took a toll on the Viking’s consistency. 8-7. And with the next four points the Cowgirls proved once again their staying power as leaders on the court. These two took their singles and Dubs matches tonight 9-7. Kudos to their efforts.
Audrey Serb(SW) over Ella Gentel (NW) 6-1, 6-2
Anna McGinnis (SW) over Hannah Gentel (NW) 6-1, 7-5
Lori Brown (NW) over Lauren Harris (SW) 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8)
Olivia Gleeson (NW) over Rachael Dee (SW) 7-1, 6-2
Hannah Byon (NW) over Betsy Chen (SW) 6-0, 6-0
Cameron McCollum (NW) over Jada Speight(SW) 6-3, 6-4
Serb/McGinnis (SW) over E Gentel/Gleeson (NW) 9-7
H Gentel/McCollum (NW) over Dee/Chen (SW) 8-2
Brown/Byon (NW) over Speight/Caroline Church (SW) 8-3
Vikings over the cowgirls 6-3 in conference play
Vikings rise to 11-2 on the season and secure second place in the conference. They will continue with Dual Team play in the coming weeks.
Cowgirls fall to 8-6, 11-9 overall. They secure 4th place in the conference behind Grimsley at third.
Conference tourney for both singles and doubles will be hosted at SW courts.
Monday, Oct 10, beginning at 3pm
Tuesday October 11, beginning at 4
Hope to see you there Cowboy Nation!