PORT CHESTER, N.Y. — Like last season, Greenwich Academy and Sacred Heart Greenwich renewed their tennis rivalry indoors, thanks to inclement weather.
And like last season, it was GA’s day in this competitive FAA matchup, featuring a pair of undefeated squads and three matches that were decided in three sets.
Sweeping the four singles matches, Greenwich Academy raised its improved its record to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the FAA with a well-earned 5-2 victory over Sacred Heart at Sound Shore Indoor Tennis Center in Port Chester, N.Y.
“It was a great match, the girls played a little tight and hesitant at the beginning and Sacred Heart played very well, so it was fun to see,” Gators coach Elizabeth Schrohe said. “We were missing a couple of our key players, but our team pulled it out at the end. There was some different energy out there.”
While Greenwich Academy kept is perfect record intact as it continues its mission to qualify for the NEPSAC Tournament, Sacred Heart boasts an impressive 4-1 mark (2-1 FAA).
“This was one of the best matches we’ve played, we lost it by a matter of points, when you consider there were three tiebreakers,” Tigers coach Anne Fraser said. “I was so pleased with our girls, they’re getting better and better.”
First singles saw GA senior Georgia Ryan post a 6-0, 6-1 win against Sacred Heart sophomore Grace Coale. Ryan continued her undefeated season at the top singles spot. Patience was key for Ryan against Coale, who also displayed impressive groundstrokes.”
“I had to stay patient and consistent the whole match, because she’s very aggressive,” Ryan said. “I knew I just couldn’t hit her off the court. So I had to keep it in and wait until she missed.”
Ryan had to make some adjustment in the second set.
“The second set, she started coming to the net a lot more, which was difficult, because I was having a hard time returning her serve, so I had to try and pop it up a little more. Most of the points were deuce in the second set.”
Junior Emma Carney of Greenwich Academy settled down in the first set en route to registering a 6-2 win against freshman Claire Pittaro at second singles. Carney won the second set, 6-0.
“I was pretty nervous in the beginning, so the first few games were key to get under my belt and after that, I had a little more confidence,” Carney said. “In the second set, I was trying to keep my momentum going from the first set, so I was just trying to keep focused and stay on top. We were missing a few players today, but we still pulled through.”
Sacred Heart’s first victory of the match came at No. 1 doubles, where juniors Megan Farrell and Isabella Gunningham were 6-4, 6-2 winners against GA’s Kate Miele and Lauren Wakeman.
“The first set we got up 4-0, then we got a little shaky with a couple of double faults, a couple of missed opportunities,” Farrell said. “Then after they came back and it was 4-3, we started capitalizing on our opportunities we had and we found our opponent’s weaknesses.”
This marks Gunningham’s first season on the squad.
“So far we are undefeated as a doubles team, it’s been a really good season,” Gunningham said. “It’s a really good team environment, I really love being part of the team.”
Said Farrell: “We live close to each other, so we have been hitting for a while and we knew we would be a good doubles team.”
At second doubles, Karina Toub and Kathryn Gregory teamed up for the first time this season for GA and recorded a hard-fought 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 win over Sacred Heart senior Nia Foster and sophomore Ursula Vollmer.
“We lost 6-3 the first set and I was feeling a little tight at the beginning, a little nervous,” Gregory said. “I just had to focus more and trust my shots.”
The duo displayed chemistry and aggressiveness during the second set.
“We talked to our coach after our first set and she told us to be more aggressive and trust ours shots more,” said Toub, a senior, who will attend the University of Southern California in the fall. “We started off 4-1 and then we finished it off at 6-2 and were more confident and aggressive in the second set. Kathryn played really well, especially in the tiebreaker.”
Maddie Smith gave GA a tough 3-6, 6-3, 10-5 win against Sacred Heart senior Stephanie Beshoory at the third singles position, while Lily Martucci (GA) was victorious at No. 4 against Molly Cadman, 6-4, 6-2.
The third doubles matchup was the final match that was completed and Sacred Heart’s Olivia Teklits/Morgan Wilkens edged Antonia Packard/Chloe Burraway 6-7 (6), 6-4, 10-5.
“Our doubles teams are getting to know each other better as doubles partners,” Fraser said.
Greenwich Academy plays NEPSAC rival Taft School in Watertown on Wednesday, while Sacred Heart is right back in action Saturday against visiting Taft.