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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. Singles 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 ...
Sept 5, 2023 Didn’t someone give the weather a calendar so it knows we are in Fall? Bad news – heat delay. Good news – The tennis ladies and I were able to catch some of the JV and Varsity VB matches. The Grimsley Whirlies began today two Whirlies down. Their LY #1, torn ACL from Lacrosse. Keri, I told you xLax was evil. Their now #3, delightful young lady, Violet was ill. If the Cowgirls were to make a move against the Lady Whirlies, today was the opportunity. Grimsley’s #1 and #2 were mirror and wall good. Both ladies could negate most hard hitting with simple lifts and direction to the baseline and corners. For Ladies like this, only a game of consistency or faster “off the sides” hitting vs off the baseline or deep fast shots would shift the advantage to the Cowgirls. Anna played well. On serve until game 10 where the Whirlie laid claim to a break and won the first. Likewise in the second set, claiming two breaks after three very close point for point games. Ms Blacutt did an exceptional job of playing her opponent with high, near lob like shot with enough pace to push the Cowgirl deeper nearing the fence. This is a hard position to play from. Anna comes up short 4 and 3. Evelyn opted for the take no prisoners and over hit against the wall of a player she drew. No, this did not end well. Changing tactics for 2 games resulted in a two game jump in her stats for the first set of the evening, but old habits die hard. Reverting to her over hitting ways, the first set closed out 2-6. Upon returning to the game in progress, once more Evelyn was reminded to hit with control and increase the spin. Once more the magic took hold and Eveylyn saw a 2 game jump in the second set. The Whirlie though had other plans. Simply lobbing it higher and deeper and slowing the pace of the ball, the Whirlie took control of the rest of the games. Evelyn goes out 2 and 2. Rachael had an incredible 1 st set. Down at first, Rachael dug deep, continuing to develop a forehand slice for the lower balls the #3 Whirlie kept her running for throughout the entire match. Rachael broke back evening the score. 5-5. A break and a hold, the first set goes to the Whirlie. The second set saw the Whirlie turn the screws, lengthening and raising her shots forcing Rachael deeper. Rallies were long. Points were beautiful. Games were tight. The score did not show the intensity of the second set. 5-7, 1-6. Church took on, at times, a lofty hitter who had the uncanny ability to hit it rather short, though I do not believe it to be particularly with intent on the Whirlie’s part. This caused all sorts of difficulties for Caroline. Unable to get into a rhythm in play, though points were long and rallies delightful to watch, Caroline falls short 1 and 1 for the evening. Kudos to both Church and Dee for reading the court, (their) opponents and anticipating the shots. Their (running) legs were working overtime tonight. Though some of their shots did not make the expected trajectory, they held their own point for point on their respective courts, challenging most games to near or to deuce. This was due to their footwork. Keep it up ladies! Christman began the evening 1 down in games. In fact, across the board, all of the Cowgirls began down after the first game. Caroline, and Bella at #6, turned that into victories on their respective courts. To begin, Christman’s match lasted 1 hr 50 mins. In the heat (yes, even though it was delayed for a while), the heat was a factor on all of the courts. Caroline faced off against her Whirlie down 1-2. On serve still through the next 4 games, Caroline broke her opponent’s serve and held her own. 5-4, Caroline played through at least 4 deuces. Coach had to simply walk away. Upon Coach’s return, it was concluded Ms Christman had taken the 1 st set on either the 5 th or 6 th deuce. Up a set, it was up to her to maintain and push her game on the Whirlie…but the Whirlie made other plans. Down once more after the first game of the second set, Caroline held. 1-1. And that was it for the second set. The Whirlie began finding her game. Extending her shots and hitting her corners. Christman had no answers. 1-6 in the second. Third set tiebreaker – the race to 10 points. It was tight. Caroline began to relax after Coach made her come over to the fence. He told her a joke…”Why did the Chicken Cross the road?” Caroline’s answer…”To get to the other side.” And with that crappy joke, Coach made Caroline smile. The joke wasn’t the point. The point was to get Caroline out of her own head. In short, it worked. Caroline relaxed. Caroline lengthened her shots. Caroline began covering her shorter balls by running to the anticipated delivery zone before her opponent hit it there. Caroline began to read her opponent better and in doing so, moving better out of expectation rather than reaction. Caroline takes the third in a hard fought match, 10-6. Bella experienced a level of play she was not use to seeing. Reader, every player has a different shot…especially in the mid range of player. This is not a slight to Bella, No! This is a compliment as to her ability to absorb and find a way around a different ball. Think a old timey grab bag with some good, and some, well….much like Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans ...