JV Girls Tennis 2019-2020 Season
George School @ Peddie School—Tuesday, September 10, 2019 @ 4:15 p.m.
Girls JV Tennis traveled to Peddie School on Tuesday 9/10/19 for their first match of the 2019 season.
A total of 7 matches were played; 2 match singles; 3 match doubles; 1 doubles and 1 singles exhibition matches.
GS won 3 of the 7 matches, which included first singles; second doubles and exhibition doubles. First Singles was won in a second set comeback, followed by a win in a 10 point match tie-break!!
The official Match score was: Peddie 3; George School 2.
Total of all matches: Peddie 4; George School 3
Anna Schenck ‘22, joining GS as an exchange student from Germany, played first singles. Arriving at an away match with little time to settle and warm-up, Anna battled but struggled in unfamiliar territory against a very fine opponent, who clearly is their marquee player. Anna battled through a first set loss, 1-6. However, showing that she has tennis acumen and no sense of panic, Anna was observing and learning. She presented herself in the second set as a seasoned “leftie” and began to take command of points at critical times. This began to take its toll on her opponent as momentum shifted and Anna’s momentum drove her to a 6-2 win in the second set. At that point, her ability to focus and keep her foot on the gas led her to a convincing 10-5 win in the match tie-break for a shocking match come-back win. Shout out to team manager Gio for being close by to the singles matches and giving timely insights to the players as the first and second singles matches evolved.
Rachel Delie ‘23 and Emily White ‘22 were “perfect together” this day as the second doubles team. Their strengths really showed how proper teaming in doubles can make a difference. Rachel has a high consistency serve with deep ground strokes, and Emily is one of the best net players on the team, as she knows how to impose herself at the net, often with little notice. Emily also has a high percentage serve which would also set up Rachel for effective volleys. Both have good anticipation and reflex skills. This match was probably the most competitive from beginning to end and finished with GS winning in straight sets 7-5; 6-2.
Jillian Nord ‘22 and Izzy Kim ’23 engaged at the exhibition doubles match. Both Coaches agreed that Peddie could rotate in two doubles teams; one in each set. No challenge too big for this GS team, however. Here again, complementary skills made a difference. Jill has always had good reflexes and lightning speed, but her overall game acumen and racquet skills have clearly grown over the last year. As the “quarterback” in this match, her growing knowledge of how to play along with her speed, she was able to maximize Izzy’s strengths to make for a great team effort. They prevailed in the first set 6-4; then as the sun was setting, and all other matches finished, they prevailed in a “second set tie-break 8-6”, to complete the victory in straight sets. Lots of hugs by all 6 of the players involved in this match! Well Done, Ladies!! Game, Set, Match!!
Special Shout out to Zahra Lohoue,23. Due to GS being short one player, Zahra offered to play exhibition “singles”, also against two different opponents. Zahra was on the court by herself for over 90 minutes and battled through a total of 19 games. Dropped first set 1-6; battled in a second set to lose 5-7. Well Done, Zahra and thanks for volunteering for that difficult assignment in your freshman year!
Thanks to Katy Lambson, Coach at Peddie; a fine coach and the best at hosting. Pleasure competing with them.
Special thanks to the parents of “6 players” that traveled to Hightstown to watch and support the players!! Great meeting them all and a really nice viewing area at Peddie to enjoy the play!
George School @ Westtown School—Tuesday, September 17, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Girls JV Tennis opened their 2019 “league” season on 17 September, traveling to Westtown School. The venue agreed to by coaches was 3 match singles; 2 match doubles; 1 exhibition doubles.; 1 exhibition singles. All Matches would be 2 sets with 10 pt match tie-break if needed.
Up and down the lineup today was solid evidence of hard work at practices; maintaining high levels of focus; shot selection skills; being “opportunists when it mattered”, and believing that they were ready to compete. So proud of their “ready” response, always more difficult after a 75-minute trip!! Shout out to Gio for the pre-match “moose” boost and assistant coaching!
Match Score: GS 4; Westtown 1
All Matches: GS 6; Westtown 1
Six of the seven matches were well matched and competitive!!
First Singles: Anna Schenck (Win): 6-0; 6-2
Second Singles: Rachel Delie (Loss): 6-7 (T/B); 3-6
Third Singles: Annika Crawford (Win) 6-3; 6-3
Fourth Singles (Exhib): Dayla Fitts (Win) 6-0; 6-1 ( played two different opponents)
First Doubles: Cameron Mitchell/ Emily White (Win) 6-3; 3-6; 10-8 in Match T/B
Second Doubles: Saffron Buscemi/Sonya Song (Win): 6-2; 6-1
Third Doubles( Exhib): Anney Ye/Zahra Lohoue (Win): 6-0; 6-4
Anna Schenck '22, played first singles and picked up where she left off from the Peddie match. She continued her display of total game acumen and poise, coupled with using her “leftie-ness” to its maximum advantage. Both players pushed each other, but Anna was clearly the opportunist in recognizing and seizing the opportunities when they were presented. While temperatures were not overwhelming, the crystal clear Chester county skies and late day sun angle made for a contest that especially tested all the singles players. Anna’s conditioning prevailed along with her high serve percentage and shot-making.
Well Done Anna! 6-0; 6-2. You’re a fine role model for the tennis aspirations of others around you!
Rachel Delie '23 played second singles. Rachel drew the most defensive skilled player on either team; the kind of player that will rally with you as long as you let her. (LoL!). Both girls battled through many multi-stroke points. Shout out to Rachel for maintaining composure, continuing to battle and determined to stay the course. The first set was pushed to an hour plus, and ended with her opponent winning a set tie-break; always a tough loss. Undeterred though, the battle continued. The second set was only halfway in and it was the remaining match on the courts. Teammates shouted encouragement from up in the “Westtown Cheap Seats”. As the 6 o’clock hour turned over, her opponent pulled slightly ahead and finished with a straight-sets win. 7-6; 6-3. Great effort, Rach!! We were all proud of your relentless effort! You’re a cougar “cub” now, but fear not, practices ahead will focus on point finishing shots and strategies to put you on the road to a ”feared tennis lioness” . Tennis is a never-ending journey to improvement!
Dayla Fitts '22 accepted the challenge to play exhibition singles, against two different opponents. This was a good opportunity for Dayla to go out and trust her swings that she’s been working on in practice. She’s been encouraged to not go out and play in a way of “trying not to lose”; rather to feel free to “release” her ground strokes and serves, see what happens and make adjustments. Having mostly played in a doubles arena since joining the team last year, the openness of the singles court, I believe, gave her some freedom to “take it for a ride”. Dayla prevailed against both opponents of similar skill to Dayla. 6-0; 6-1. “Courage Award” to Dayla today!
GS Lit up the doubles courts yesterday starting with “complementary” pairings, combined with growing game playing knowledge; aggressive net play and high first-serve percentages.
Cameron Mitchell '21 and Emily White '22 teamed at first doubles; both with comparable first serves and both with “attitudes to own the net”. First set win 6-3; Westtown with a comparable push to take second set 6-3; but our girls upped the “presence pressure” in the match tie-break to win 10-8.
Saffron Buscemi '22 and Sonya Song '20 teamed for second doubles; just like the “Bryan Brothers” the combination of “leftie and righty” always puts pressure on opponents to stay focused on where the ball is coming from. The personalities and skills of Saffron and Sonya are very complementary and they used it to their advantage to a straight-sets win, 6-2; 6-1. High first serve percentage; court position awareness; transition from defense to offense. Well Done to both doubles teams for enjoyable doubles display!
Thanks to Westtown Coach Jim Morefield and his assistant for fielding a prepared teamed and facilities. Thanks to manager/assist coach, Gio for his player encouragements and succinct guidance.
George School @ Shipley School—Friday, September 20, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Girls JV Tennis traveled to Shipley School on Friday 9/20/19.
A total of 5 matches were played; 3 match singles; 2 match doubles.
GS won 4 of the 5 matches.
S1: Anna Schenk (Loss). 3-6; 6-7 ( 2nd set T/B by Shipley 7-5)
S2: Rachel Delie ( Win). 6-2; 6-1
S3: Fressa Ni (Win). 1-6; 6-1; ( Match T/B by GS 15- 13)
D1: Saffron Buscemi/Annika Crawford (Win). 6-7 (Shipley wins set TB); 6-4; Match T/B 10-8 by GS
D2: Neha Thumu/Teresa Liang (Win) 6-1; 6-0
The official Match score was: George School 4; Shipley 1.
Anna Schenck '22, played first singles. A well-matched competition. Typically in first singles, you see the most consistent baseliners, which is why you need an edge to force them out of their comfort zone. Anna worked on a variety of finishing shots over the past week and had some opportunities to finish points. As all tennis players know, when you learn new skills it takes time to have the confidence to use them in a pressure situation. Anna will get more comfortable with those skills. She also had to endure long points on the court that had the sharp sun angle the longest of the afternoon.
Good battle, Anna! Showed a lot of grit in the second set to battle back and the 2nd set T/B could have gone either way. Shipley prevailed in straights sets, needing to win the second set in a T/B.
Rachel Delie '23 played second singles. Our “cougar cub”, did not waste any time making nice adjustments in footwork patterns from her practice sessions; keeping more balls out of the center of the court and seizing opportunities to finish. Playing with consistent focus and confidence, Rachel prevails 6-2; 6-1 never allowing her opponent to gain any traction. Rachel’s match was the third win, sealing the match for GS, but there was more GS action to come!
Fressa Ni '23 at third singles and fully healthy again after short term injury, offered up the “ESPN Highlight” match of the day. Seemingly lacking in energy after a tough school day, she dug a quick hole in the first set and just couldn’t get comfortable, dropping first set 1-6. However, as we discussed in practice, a leading opponent can be vulnerable to attention focus after an easy set win. Fressa reset with a short memory, jumped out early in the second set, then applied increasing pressure which ate into her opponent's confidence. Fressa takes the second set 6-1. A match tiebreak begins; Fressa falls behind but stays focused on the following points, not the ones just played. The tiebreak proceeds to be very tight; Fressa fights off 3 match points by her opponent. The battle continues. Fressa serves 14-13 and forces an error by her opponent to finish a grueling match. GRITTY AWARD to FRESSA for the Day!!
Saffron Buscemi '22 and Annika Crawford '22 teamed for first doubles. Girls fell behind early in the first set, but then made some important adjustments to push the first set to a tiebreak, but dropping the tiebreak. Shipley wins first set. With rising intensity and some key net wins by Annika, GS prevailed 6-4 in a very impressive set by both teams. Going into the match tiebreak. It seemed as though Shipley was reawakened and would have a slight edge in intensity and movement; but then a few strategic conversations between Saffron and Annika confirmed that they understood the moment and prevailed 10-8 in the match tiebreak as the whole team jumped off the bench after counting each point in the tiebreak. Just as with Fressa, nothing better than dropping the first set, then to re-emerge with the second set and match tiebreak wins. Best life lesson!!
Neha Thumu '20 and Teresa Liang '22 in second doubles were on the same page from the beginning using many great doubles tactics and working angles to keep their opponent from gaining any momentum and prevailed in straight sets 6-1; 6-0.
Across the board, double faults were at a minimum; singles players were keeping opponents on the move; doubles teams continue to show good pressure at the net after deep ground strokes, taking away the middle; strategic use of lobs and everyone putting play up pressure on opponents second serve. Practice in the week ahead will continue to emphasize point finishing strategies and creating pressure for opponents in several ways. Team members have the opportunity to self assess their weaknesses this week so we can continue to focus on small improvements.
George School vs Perkiomen School—Tuesday, September 24, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Girls JV Tennis welcomed and took on Perkiomen today ( 9/24). The match was previously scheduled for 9/13/19.
The venue was 3 singles and 2 doubles.
Up and down the lineup today was more solid evidence of hard work at practices; maintaining high levels of focus in spite of a “very busy” campus afternoon; shot selection skills; being “opportunists when it mattered”. So proud of their “game on” response!!
Match Score: GS (GEO) 5; Perkiomen 0
Four of the five matches were reasonably competitive, though GS took mental control early in all matches and set the pace across the board!!
First Singles: Rachel Delie (Win): 6-1; 6-3 ( 2nd set interrupted for 20 minutes due to medical timeout for Perkiomen)
Second Singles: Cameron Mitchell (Win)): 6-4; 6-3
Third Singles: Zahra LoHoue (Win) 6-2; 1-0 ( Perkiomen Retired)
First Doubles: Saffron Buscemi/ Dayla Fits: (Win) 6-3; 6-1
Second Doubles: Prabh Kaur/Emily White (Win): 6-0; 6-0
Match Highlights for the website to follow. Next Match is Wednesday 10/2 (Away) vs Abington Friends
George School vs Academy of the New Church—Tuesday, September 24, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
George School @ Abington Friends School—Wednesday, October 2, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Match Score: GS (GEO) 5; AFS 0
First Singles: Fressa Ni: (Win): 7-5; 6-0
Second Singles: Saffron Buscemi (Win): 6-0; 6-1
Third Singles: Annika Crawford (Win) 6-0; 6-0
First Doubles: Cameron Mitchell/Rachel Delie: (Win) 6-2; 6-2
Second Doubles: Sonya Song/Nadia Noorchashmn (Win): 6-0; 6-0
George School vs Germantown Friends School—Friday, October 4, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Girls JV Tennis hosted Germantown Friends on Friday 10/4.
Venue: 3 singles; 2 league doubles; 2 exhibition dbls.
League score was: George School (GEO) 3; Germantown Friends 2
All matches: GEO 5 Germantown Friends 2
First Singles: Anna Schenck: (Loss): 3-6; 1-6
Second Singles: Fressa Ni (Win): 6-3; 6-1
Third Singles: Rachel Delie: (Loss) 3-6; 7-6 (set T/B); 8-10 Match T/B
First Doubles: Cameron Mitchell/Emily White: (Win) 6-3; 6-1
Second Doubles: Neha Thumu/Annika Crawford (Win): 6-0; 6-0
Third Doubles: Dayla Fitts/Jillian Nord (Win) 6-2; 6-3
Fourth Doubles: Teresa Liang/Izzy Kim (Win) 6-3; 6-2
Singles matches played out on the lower courts. While I did not get to see much of the play while overseeing the doubles matches up top, the managers gave good support and coaching. Anna at first singles ran into the proverbial defensive player and struggled to try to find ways to finish points. She battled through many long baseline encounters and perhaps got more frustrated by not being able to finish successfully in enough key points. Good lessons learned here and these matches reinforce the need to be willing to push deep on ground strokes and serves and come forward and take more chances at the net. We’ll continue to work on her repertoire of finishing shots and strategies and emphasize the positives of creating more pressure for her opponents.
Fressa continues to solidify her style as a “real grinder”, with a deep sense of focus and a “Rafa” sense of “battling for every point”, no matter what happens the point before and no matter the score. Well Done, Fressa for a convincing win!
Rachel earned the “grit” award for the singles play this day. I missed her first set loss and most of the second, but saw her come from behind in the second set to get it to a set T/B. Now, in the position of the “twilight” match of the event and standing room only, she sent the message “ let’s do this” and won the second set T/B thus forcing a third set, 10 point match T/B. Both young players showed amazing poise amid shouts of support; Rachel fell back early but stayed close; she had a match point opportunity and ultimately her opponent prevailed at 10-8. Just great stuff! Well Done, Rachel!
So proud of all of our doubles teams as they all understand that winning at doubles is 4 dimensional; racquet skills; game strategy knowledge; having a competitive/opportunistic attitude on each point; picking up your partner after miscues. Best of all, they all are fully enjoying the experience and feeling the exuberance that good doubles can make you feel. Well Done Ladies across the board!!
The 2019 journey continues this “ very busy and challenging” week with home matches against Princeton Day School on 10/7, an “all doubles venue”; Moorestown Friends Thursday 10/10 in a “showdown of unbeatens in FSL play”; Stuart Country Day on Friday 10/11 and the FSL JV Tournament on Saturday 10/12. Hoping for good health for the players and dry weather! Stay tuned!
George School vs Princeton Day School—Monday, October 7, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
GS Girls JV Tennis Hosted Princeton Day School (10/7). The venue was 6 doubles matches; 5 official; 1 exhibition match.
The team had a reality check today, as most matches faced seasoned players exhibiting year-round playing skills. These matches, while difficult to play through, are good for our players especially those whose tennis aspirations may go beyond the school playing season. It shows them what is possible with work and persistence. Many of the finer points of good doubles play especially excellent movement to the ball; volley skills, a higher level of pace and minimizing unforced errors were on display by the PDS teams.
Official Match Score: PDS 5; GS 0
All Matches: PDS 5; GS 1
First Doubles: Rachel Delie/Saffron Buscemi: (Loss): 5-7; 0-6
Second Doubles: Emily While/Dayla Fitts (Loss): 4-6; 4-6
Third Doubles: Teresa Liang/Nadia Noorchashmn (Loss): 2-6; 0-6
Fourth Doubles: Prabh Kaur/Jill Nord: (Loss) 1-6; 2-6
Fifth Doubles: Zahra Lohoue/Naomi Brangan (Loss): 1-6; 1-6
Sixth Doubles: Sonya Song/Anney Ye (Win) 6-0; 6-3
In both the first and second doubles, the GS players recognized the high skill level early across the net but were not intimidated nor did they play with “deer in the headlights” attitude. First sets were competitive and the outcomes were determined by skills that rises to a higher level in critical points. Energy loss may have played in the second set for the first doubles team as their opponents skated thru; Emily and Dayla in second doubles made the opponents work right to the last point. But in the end, the shortage of offensive fire power to push them back allowed their opponents to finish without having to face a tie-break. Kudos to the GS effort in these two matches. I know they will come away with a good visual to help them continue to grow their own skills.
In the third thru fifth doubles, I believe the shock factor became more of an issue. That feeling that tennis players at all levels get when you realize your opponent is more experienced and skilled. To the credit of the GS players, there were many examples of nice returns, extending points, and teamwork communication, but the high-level volley and serve skills of the opponents complemented by the significant pace and simply knowing better where to be on the court, kept them from gaining any traction to be a threat. Well done girls for staying out there and executing the best that you could. Reflect and internalize learning points you can take away from your match.
In sixth doubles, Sonya and Anney faced two different pairs in their straight-set win. They are a nice combination team as Anneys’ ground strokes have steadily improved over the last 3 years, and Sonya is one of the more accurate volley players on the team. The pace was not much of a factor for the team which allowed them to enjoy a nice straight sets win.
Next Match: Home on Thursday 10/10 vs Moorestown Friends.
George School vs Moorestown Friends School—Thursday, October 10, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
All matches were competitive! A pleasure competing against a talented and well prepared MFS team. Considering the GS players were aware they were facing an undefeated team at 8-0, they were not intimidated and “competed” very well. In most matches, the GS players had leads at some point but some critical missed opportunities and some concentration lapses at key times contributed to the difference. Higher-level players capitalize on errors. Another good learning opportunity for the players today.
Official Match Score: MFS 4; GS 1
All Matches: MFS 5; GS 1
First Singles: Fressa Ni: (Loss): 2-6; 0-6
Second Singles: Anna Schenck (Loss): 6-7 (T/B Loss) 7-5
Third Singles: Rachel Delie: (Win) 7-5; 5-7; Match T/B 10-5
First Doubles: Annika Crawford/Saffron Buscemi: (Loss) 3-6; 4-6
Second Doubles: Cameron Mitchell/Jill Nord (Loss): 3-6; 3-6
Third Doubles: Dayla Fitts/Izzy Kim (Loss) 3-6; 4-6
As expected from MFS, all the GS singles players faced formidable, yet manageable opponents. Characteristics that require an opponent to keep unforced errors down, maximize the benefit of a high first-serve percentage and capitalize on opportunities. Fressa dug an early hole in the first set and struggled with depth control on several shots which worked on her confidence. Her opponent was a skilled opportunist and skillfully worked at forcing errors. I know Fressa will re-set. She’ll have an opportunity to re-set at the FSL Tournament with lots of play and return to take on Friends Central next week.
Anna in second singles, battled for two hard-fought sets with neither player being able to push comfortably ahead. The lead changed hands a few times with her opponent “eeking out” a first set tie-break win. Anna has no trouble re-setting and committing to the next task, kept the pressure on in the second set refusing to “ go away”, and in this “twilight” match got “oh so close” to force a second-set tie-break. With many eyes watching, her opponent was serving 6-5 and Anna fought off at least 3 match points and had two opportunities to get to the 2nd set tie-break. Finally, her opponent was able to close the match on an ad point, a final ground stroke to the ad corner. Nothing to be sad about in this match.
Anna will play again today against Stuart and represent GS at the tournament on Saturday. Well Done Anna! I appreciate the 110% effort for almost 2 hours!
Rachel ( a.k.a our “cougar cub”!) also competing against the perfect challenging opponent was controlling the tempo for a good part of the match. She clearly displayed a continuing growing sense of court awareness, shot selection, variety, and smart risk-taking when the opportunity presents itself. Her foot speed, stamina, and a “sneaky” aggressive first serve also contribute to her repertoire. . With all of this she battled to a first set win 7-5; dropped a close second set; then prevailed in a match tie break to earn the only match win of the day for GS. Well Done, Rachel! Your “roar” is getting louder! Stay committed to continuous improvement.
All of the doubles matches shared similar profiles, as well as results. The match-ups were fair and good. Neither side in any of the matches was in a dominant position. Most determining points were won from the team that played the net aggressively; anticipated return shots and made good choices of returns; scored points at critical times and kept their unforced errors down. We’ll keep working on those “doubles specific” skills to get these matches over the top.
George School @ Stuart Country Day School—Friday, October 11, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Results: ( Official match): Stuart 4; GS 1
All matches: Stuart 4 GS 3
FSL JV Tournament—Saturday, October 12, 2019 @ 10:00 a.m.
George School vs Friends’ Central School—Tuesday, October 15, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
GS Girls JV Tennis Hosted Friends Central 10/15/19. Venue was 3 singles; 2 doubles 2 exhibition doubles.
It was a day that started out with some lineup dropouts due to illnesses and injury but with the help of team captain Prabh, we were able to re-group and re-do the lineup in time to support the 11 that FCS was bringing.
All matches were competitive. Unfortunately, controversy toward the end of the first doubles match may have caused a lost opportunity to at least get to a set T/B, but in the interest in saving what was otherwise a good overall contest and quickly declining daylight, I let it go.
Proud of all the players today. The team played for Dayla who cannot be with us for the remainder of the season but we are all thinking of her.
League Match Score: FCS 3; GEO 2
All Matches: GEO 4 FCS 3.
First Singles: Anna Schenck : (Loss): 2-6; 3-6
Second Singles: Rachel Delie (Win): 7-5; 6-2
Third Singles: Cameron Mitchell: (Loss) 3-6; 4-6
First Doubles: Neha Thumu/Sonya Song: (Loss) 1-6; 5-7
Second Doubles: Emily White/Jillian Nord (Win): 6-2; 6-1
Third Doubles: Prabh Kaur/Nadia Noorchashmn (Win) 6-4; 6-3
Fourth Doubles: Izzy Kim/Naomi Brangan (Win) 6-1; 6-1