Southwest Guilford High School
Womens Varsity Tennis
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Sep 19, 2022
- COWBOYS: 6
WESTERN GUILFORD HIGH SCHOOL: 3
Cowgirls over the Lady Hornets of Western Guilford in Conf Tennis action
Having played Western Guilford at SW back the beginning of the season, Coach wanted to change the line-up to give the Cowgirls a different hitting experience. A different hitting experience was never such the reality as tonight.
Originally playing Audrey, Anna, Rachael, Jada, Tamara Davis, and Keri McFeeley in singles, the Cowgirls were 4-2 coming out of singles play and managed to hold two dubs courts thanks to the play by #1 Dubs Audrey/Anna, and nailbiter tiebreakers on both dubs courts #2 and #3, #2 losing 5-7 and #3 winning 7-2.
Though Winning 6-3, Coach wanted to test the Cowgirls more in the singles line-up. If you are a regular reader of Coach’s writing, you will know Coach judges team in accordance with how many players up or down they are to the Cowgirls. Page is a +2/3. NW is a +2/1. Grimsley is a +1. All meaning, if you take out the number of ladies from the top of the line-up, the Cowgirls could play on semi level ground.
Taking this to its natural conclusion, Coach dropped Audrey out of Singles against Western Guilford tonight. Foolish? Perhaps. The Western Coach thought it disrespectful and said as much. Coach corrected him with his true intent….He simply wanted to pit the Cowgirls without Audrey against the Lady Hornets in singles. This would allow each of the Cowgirls to play “up”, developing a feel for a bigger hitter and hopefully make headway in head to head action. If successful, Audrey and Anna could sit through dubs as well allowing others to fill the varsity dubs line-up with their talents and give them a look at a +1 talent to their own play.
Unfortunately, singles were a very tight affair.
Ms. Ward, Brooke’s #2 last year, inherited the mantle of #1 for this season. She was solid last year but could do little against Audrey last time. So too with Ms. Ghergie, current Lady Hornet #2 against Anna. Both Cowgirls won with convincing shots and almost lopsided play. So with Audrey out, Anna and Lauren played up….#’s 1 and 2 respectively.
Court #2, Ms. Ghergie had Lauren’s number. Lauren continues to return to her form from the last year’s ankle ailment. Though moving well, her shots could not find a steady rhythm thus allowing Ms. Ghergie to hold session on the court. Late in the first set Lauren was able to put together both a service game and a break in serve involving beautiful moving and topspin. Alas, consistency was once more an issue as Ms. Ghergie altered her game to take the advantage away from Lauren. She loses 2 and 0.
Court #1, Ms. Ward had so much more the complete package. Serve, rallying, alternating shots, consistency, approaching and net play. Coming out of the gate down a break 1-2, now 1-3, Anna pushed but couldn’t recover her lost service game. The second set an improved service and overall hitting from Anna…much like the Anna who came back 1-5 against the Grimsley player. But Ms. Ward would have nothing to do with that. On serve for the entire 2nd set, Ms. Ward finally breaks Anna and refused to relinquish her own serve. Anna loses 4 and 4 against a much bigger hitting and developed game than her own. She hustled the kept the ball in play thanks to her footwork and hitting ability. If Ms. Ward (senior) could stay around for another year, I would love to see this match again come next fall.
By this time Betsy had not only encountered but prevailed against the #4 Lady Hornet. Up from #6 last year, the Lady Hornet couldn’t answer the hitting consistency and depth of Betsy’s ball allowing for a straightforward win for the Cowgirl. 1 and 0.
So too for Jada playing up at #5. Though the first set proved a testing phase for both players, once the 1st set win was secured, the Lady Hornet had little in her tank to mount a comeback against an improving Cowgirl. The 1st set has been chalked up to consistency and service errors from Jada. The second set saw her put those issues in the rearview mirror and play her game she has continued to work on since summer. 4 and 1.
Rachael played amazingly! Consistency errors also plagued the #3 Cowgirl tonight. Playing against a very competitive and evening matched foe, Rachael ended up ceding the first set to the Lady Hornet by just a break. The second set showed Rachael easing back on the throttle and begin playing her opponent out for points instead of trying to end them with a power move. Serve Percentages went up, consistency too, on serve for the first 8 games, Rachael finds the opportunity to break, and does so! Serving out for the set, Rachael had only to go through deuce once.
Tied now in sets, we head to the third set super 10 tiebreaker.
3-3 swap sides
14-16….Rachael narrowly losing the third set and match against a tough opponent.
Yes reader…two points. The entire match, all the running, from shortly after 5pm to closer to 8pm…two points.
Both players were wiped. The Lady Hornet and the Rachael both had to find a place, physically and mentally to process the match they had just finished. Rachael sat on the bench next to her court as Coach walked over to give some comfort. He has a heart…or at least that is the current rumor that is flying around.
Two missed calls and one bad bounce off a crack in the tiebreaker and maybe a different winner would have stood? It is neither here nor there now. Simply, the Lady Hornet prevailed by the slimmest of margins. Though Coach hates to lose (for the ladies to lose) matches where we should win…against a playing equal???? Coach simply hates for anyone to have to lose. Yes, the Cowgirls collectively mourned for a short while, but it is only in these matches where our true mettle is tested. It all boils down to consistency. Last time Rachael came out on top. She played the most consistent she has to date. Serves were good and deep…even a few lobs as Coach had taught the ladies… tonight though, Rachael was barely edged. Though no celebrating will occur, it was a wonderful match to build the tennis player within Rachael and the Lady Hornet.
During this time, Court #6 Caroline Church came off. Though the Lady Hornet was a bigger hitter, she was a bit more error prone than Caroline. Finding her groove, Church was able to hold the Lady Hornet at bay in the first set winning 6-0. The second set found the Hornet easing into her shots, making contact and placing them in. In pushing Caroline back, both sides held serve for the first 7 games and in the 8th, Caroline broke the Lady Hornet. Dropping the consistency that allowed her to hold for this length of time, Church was able to once more, pressure her opponent into poor shot selections and over hitting and causing her to drop the last two game. Church wins 0 and 3. Well played in the second set bump the Lady Hornet had.
3-3 after singles means someone must win at least two doubles to be victorious in the match between these conference foes.
Audrey and Anna took court one. And it was quick. Audrey was ready, though not playing in singles tonight. Anna was her consummate partner as they took apart the Lady Hornets 8-0, holding their serves and breaking every service game their opponents undertook.
Though some of the points were longer in nature, and points would flow to the Hornet’s side, they were unable to mount enough to put together a game worth. Oh, they hit well. They hit out. Audrey and Anna just took it in stride and returned them most. Clearly these two Cowgirls were on a different level of play tonight. Way to go!
4-3. Cowgirls still needed one more for the win.
Both #2 (Rachael/Betsy) and #3 (Jada/Church) dubs courts began play down.
Rachael/Betsy 1-2, now 1-3. Holding their serve, they moved the score to 2-3.
Jada/Church took another game to realize their own hitting. Hitting through and unfortunately out for the first few games for the Cowgirls allowed for the more consistent Lady Hornets to make inroads of the match. 1-3 as well, 1-4, 2-4, 3-4.
Back to Rachael/Betsy. 2-3, break and a hold. 4-3. Yes! The Lady Hornets answer. A Hold and a break back…4-5.
So too on Court #3 with Jada and Church. 3-4, 4-4, 5-4, 5-5, 5-6.
Coach is flummoxed. We have the talent he begins muttering to himself as he repeats “my precious, my precious” over and over as he holds his now mutilated water bottle, void of water, and recognized by only the brightly colored label miraculously still intact around the bottle.
And then, the turn.
Finally, both courts, at the same time, begin to battle once more…and win.
Rachael and Betsy broke and then held once more. Now 6-5. Aided by nerves and a ill timed double fault by the Lady Hornets, the Cowgirls are now up 7-5 as Rachael Serves it out. And she does not disappoint. 4 up, 4 down as Rachael and Betsy take the last 4 games from the Hornets and ensure a Cowgirl victory tonight.
But not to be outdone, Jada and Church, as mentioned above, also brought their game, playing the net opportunities a bit better, pushing the Hornets back and alienating the net player on returns and lifted shots…the Cowgirls break and hold. 7-6….and playing smart, they took the last service game from the Lady Hornets giving the Cowgirls a 6-3 victory overall.
……so it worked out. Maybe not singles in truth, but the long game of the match overall. Yes, Coach likes to win a bit more definitely, but it is only in these tight matches that our true colors shine bright. Fire removes the impurities and focuses the play on what is important. It is hard during a match to allow all 9 courts to shine. Tonight, Coach was able to put into effect 6 courts who, through either victory or loss, learned a bit more about their true game. And isn’t this why we are here? To help all students to reach their potential, either in sport or in the classroom?
Tennis for life…..while winning just makes the lessons more palatable.
Below you will find the box scores and when you can catch the Cowgirls back at home.
Thankyou for reading.
River Ward (Western) over Anna McGinnis (SW) 6-4,6-4
Nadia Ghergie (Western) over Lauren Harris (SW) 6-2,6-0
Caroline Allen (Western) over Rachel Dee (SW) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (16-14)
Betsy Chen (SW) over Maggie Scott (Western) 6-1, 6-0
Jada Speight (SW) over MJ Brewer (Western) 6-4, 6-1
Caroline Church (SW) over Josslyn Hizer (Western) 6-0, 6-3
Audrey Serb/ McGinnis (SW) over Ward/ Ghergie (Western) 8-0
Dee/Chen (SW) over Allen Scott (Western) 8-5
Speight/ Church (SW) over Hizer/ Brewer (Western) 8-6
SWG rises to 5-4 in the conference, 8-6 overall
Cowgirls travel to RJR on Tuesday for a non-conference match
SW will host Northern Guilford on Wednesday.