Before competing in the main draw of the CIAC Class L Tournament, the Greenwich High School girls tennis team had to overcome an obstacle in the form of Fairfield Warde in Friday’s state qualifying round.
Sweeping the doubles matches and getting a pair of singles victories enabled the Cardinals to pass their first state test.
Seeded 11th, Greenwich posted a 5-2 home win over No. 22 Warde in a Class L qualifier. Greenwich (13-5) moved on to Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. opening round where it will visit sixth-seeded Wilton (17-3). The Warriors edged Greenwich when the FCIAC rivals met in the regular season, 4-3.
Singles players Martine Fierro and Nathalie Williams completed their matches first for the Cardinals against Warde on Friday. Fierro, a senior co-captain, was off the court first. She defeated Hannah Ulman, 6-0, 6-0, at first singles.
“I didn’t play her during the regular season, so it was nice to play an opponent I hadn’t played before,” Fierro said.
Fierro will play against Wilton’s top-seeded player Izzy Koziol in Saturday’s opening round (Round of 16).
“I’m excited to play Izzy; she’s a great player,” Fierro said. “I’ve played against her a lot and the last time our match was 4 and 4 (Koziol won 6-4, 6-4), so it should be a great match.”
Williams, a sophomore, was victorious against Warde’s Sana Nagori, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 2 singles.
“I’m really excited, I haven’t played in this type of tournament before,” said Williams, who is in her first season on the squad. “I had a good warm-up and I kept it up once the match began. I had a good match against Wilton the last time we played them and I’m looking forward to it.”
Warde (9-10) received a victory at third singles from senior Ellie Daigle. She won her match against GHS senior co-captain Christina Gianesello, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. At fourth singles, Mustangs freshman Jessica Broder posted a 6-4, 6-4 win against Cardinals junior Kendall Schrohe.
In doubles action, Greenwich seniors Yui Inagawa/Amy Bickham were 7-5, 6-2 winners against Hannah Mallon/Karli Vare at the No. 1 spot. At second doubles, junior Hannah Viney and sophomore Abby Shropshire of Greenwich notched a 6-3, 6-3 triumph against Deb Warren/Clare Byrne.
“We played as a doubles team last year too, so we know what to do when we are out there on the court together,” Shropshire said. “We’ve improved a lot as the season has gone on.”
Said Viney: “Our next match should be great, we just have to stay positive.”
Catherine Daye/Rachael Karetsky also won their match in straight sets for the Cards, recording a 6-2, 6-1 win over Amelia Kardos/Emma Rothman.