Varsity Girls Tennis 2018-2019 Season
George School @ Stuart Country Day School—Friday, September 7, 2018 @ 4:00 p.m.
1 Stuart Anna Dawson def. GS Fiona Keith 6-4, 6-2
2 Stuart Holly Zhuang def. GS Lauren Whyte 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)
3 Stuart Allison Tarbotton def. Katherine Hoang 6-2, 6-4
Exhibition Singles: GS Kate Lyden def. Stuart 6-3 (one set only due to time...)
1D GS Kate Levesque / Phoebe Johnson def. Stuart Mia Szabo / Wendy Wang 6-2, 2-6, TB 7-1
2D Stuart Vivian Chen / Tina Zhang def. Arshi Nagra / Grace Song 7-5, 6-2
After a sweltering week of tryouts and practice, we prepared ourselves for our first match of the season. The temps were in the eighties, a huge improvement over the past four days.
Each of our singles played solid matches, coming from behind in at least one of their sets. We are proud of their resolve and look forward to our next match at PDS on Wednesday.
For our senior co-captain Fiona Kieth, it was a fight to the end of the first set. Fiona read her opponent very well, noting that she preferred crisp, deep groundstrokes to the forehand. Fiona fought to give her everything but what the opponent wanted. She did an outstanding job, in particular pulling the opponent up to net, countering the player's forehand crosscourt shot. At 4-4, the set could have gone either way. Fiona matched countless points stroke by stroke, but struggled to finish out the point. While Fiona worked really well moving to the ball, stretching for and saving what otherwise would have been out-and-out winners, she was broken in her service game. Fiona fought just as hard in the second set, but the Stuart player gained confidence in her volleys and racked up what looked to be an easy set. But, it wasn't that. Fiona fought hard from start to finish, showing mental toughness and determination.
For her debut match at second singles, junior Lauren Whyte was no pushover. Once she shook off her nerves in the beginning of the first set, she started the second set with her sights set high. At first, her opponent gained further ground in the second set and suddenly was leading 4-0. Lauren decided that THAT WAS ENOUGH! She stood her ground, found her bread-and-butter forehand and got to work. Suddenly, at 3-4, the match was a whole different story and the Stuart player felt the heat. Throughout, Lauren showed patience, perhaps from seeing Fiona's patience at the adjacent court. Lauren's resolve was clear as she moved her opponent around the court and racked up point after point to take her to 6-6! We were so proud! Although the tiebreak went by too quickly, Lauren gave the Stuart player a real run for her money, changing a seemingly easy victory into a formidable fight.
Third singles with senior co-captain Katherine Hoang at the helm was a calculating match. Both players worked to keep the ball in play, at times resembling the wall that we know third singles players can be! The first set seemed quick, despite a number of long rallies. Now, in the second set, she was to stretch herself and work even harder, even though she was feeling under the weather. Katherine approached the new set with discipline in her footwork and in her refreshed backhand topspin shot. With stronger, more assured strokes, she gained considerable ground, matching her opponent game for game until they reached 4-4. One break of serve, and it was the end of a hard-fought match.
It is a challenge to begin a match after waiting such a long time for a free court (Stuart has five courts), but junior Kate Lyden got down to business right away. Kate led during the entire set (one set, shortened due to time constraints), showing her opponent who was in charge. Kate did a good job anticipating the Stuart player's strokes, stretching herself to get to every ball. The serve was Kate's friend as she was able to keep her opponent on her toes with service accuracy and consistency. Impressive, too, was Kate's patience on the court as her opponent began to read Kate's game with increasing success. As the set was drawing to an end, Kate and her opponent were exchanging long rallies, adding to an overall solid experience for our Kate.
Veteran Pheobe Johnson moved into the first doubles slot with new partner Kate Levesque for the first match of the year. The pair came out swinging, taking the first set with relative ease (6-2). At the changeover, the Stuart girls altered their game plan a bit and managed to match Pheobe and Kate’s groundstrokes with well-placed volleys and lobs. The Stuart team took the second set (6-2), setting up an exciting deciding third frame. Down five games to four, the Cougars battled back to take the lead at 6-5. A service hold by Stuart forced the match to a tie breaker. Pheobe and Kate dug deep and came away with a 7-1 victory in the tiebreaker and recorded the team’s first win of the season. Way to go!
Sophomore Grace Song was joined by freshman Arshi Nagra in the second doubles position. Although they have had little experience playing together, they communicated well and hit several beautiful shots. The first set was incredibly tight with the Stuart girls pulling out a 7-5 win on the strength of solid net play. Although they came up short in the first, Grace and Arshi should be very proud of their games. They both served consistently well and their groundstrokes were deep and well-placed. Unfortunately, the Stuart girls caught fire in the second set, winning 6-2 and notching their first win of the season.
George School @ Princeton Day School—Wednesday, September 12, 2018 @ 4:00 p.m.
George School vs Perkiomen School—Friday, September 14, 2018 @ 4:00 p.m.
GS 4 Perkiomen 2
1 Perk. Julia Kelly def. GS Katherine Hoang 6-1, 6-0
2 GS Fiona Keith def. Per. Kate Galant 7-5, 6-0
3 Perk. Charlotte Kopp def. GS Carol Lu 6-1, 6-0
1 GS Kate Lyden / Grace Song def. Perk Sherry Zhang / Maki Ashiawa 6-7 (7-3), 6-2, TB 10-8
2 GS Phoebe Johnson / Kate Levesque def. Perk. Kristine Rivera / Megan Flynn 6-1, 6-0
3 GS Annika Crawford / Arshi Nagra def. Perk. Lynn Liu / Lucy Wong 6-0, 6-0
While the format (3 singles and 3 doubles) was a bit uncommon, both the Perkiomen team and the GS team were happy to play as many players as were available today. A humid day but without sun, the conditions were not too bad. With Lauren Whyte out for the match, we experimented with positions today.
Katherine, in her first match in this position, worked hard to connect with the Perkiomen opponent's groundstrokes. With each rally, Katherine felt electrified to match strokes with the experienced player across the court. The first set went by quickly, but the second set (despite the score) highlighted numerous rallies and increased errors from the Perkiomen player. I was proud of Katherine stepping up to the plate and am certain that she learned much from the match!
Carol's debut at third singles showed much courage. Her first set consisted of testing out her opponent and finding her own footwork. When Carol connected with the ball, her opponent needed to readjust her game. Carol fought hard to find her dependable forehand—her opponent read Carol's racket well, matching her stroke by stroke. The second set consisted of more rallies, as Carol dug in her heels to win more points. I was happy to see Carol's resolve as she never gave up.
The singles match of the day was without a doubt on court #2. Fiona had one goal in mind, and it was to walk on top. As she and her opponent traded points and mirrored each other's groundstrokes, Fiona persevered with a super fine first set, edging out the persistent strokes of the Perkiomen player. Yes!! Then, in a blink of an eye, Fiona took it to the next level in the second set, dominating on every level. The smile on Fiona's face was priceless as she exited the court, for this win was more than just that for both Fiona and the team.
Arshi and Annika paired up for a lesson in doubles as they defeated their opponents in an easy win today. While the GS team was clearly more experienced, they played cool points in anticipation of their opponent's improved shots. Watching them work together was a pleasure, for they formed a mature team considering that this was their first performance together.
On the next court, Kate and Phoebe had a similar experience, with longer rallies and more strategies to deal with. The GS team's presence at the net was key as was our ability to move around the Perkiomen team to our advantage. Both Phoebe and Kate were unstoppable throughout the match as they consistently found openings and opportunities across the court.
The cliffhanger occurred on doubles court #1, with Kate and Grace trading points and sets throughout the match. After learning a hard lesson during the first set, Kate's putaway volleys and Grace's crosscourt forehands proved effective against the Perkiomen team. The third set tie breaker began with strong shots from the GS team, but Perkiomen climbed back into the excitement and suddenly we were tied at 8-8. The last two points made this coach age as she watched, but we pulled it out and walked away with an amazing win.
Way to go for our first home match!
George School @ FSL Tennis Invitational—Saturday, September 15, 2018 @ 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, Sept. 15
8 game pro sets / no add games / guaranteed two matches
warm; a mixture of clouds, sun
Lots of great points throughout the morning and early afternoon! We were very happy to field a full team representing George School! Good work, team!! (We were missing Lauren, but she was in our thoughts!)
match #1: Fiona Keith lost to FCS Zeeanne Choi 0-8 (overall winner)
match #2: Fiona Keith defeated MFS Natalie Julian 8-1
match #1: Katherine Hoang lost to FCS Skye Victor 0-8 (overall winner)
match #2: Katherine Hoang defeated FSS Tal Lesnik 8-0
match #1: Carol Lu lost to MFS Skye Mada 3-8
match #2: Carol Lu lost to FSS Madeline Squires 2-8
match #1: Phoebe Johnson / Kate Levesque lost to AFS Lily Ehsani / Ya Ya Chen 4-8
match #2: Phoebe Johnson / Kate Levesque defeated MFS Gabby Makar / Katerina Kostopoulos 8-6
match #1:Grace Song / Kate Lyden lost to FCS Sally Su / Julia Nierenberg 2-8
match #2: Grace Song / Kate Lyden defeated WS Alice Yeung / Amelia Yu 8-4
George School vs Academy of the New Church—Friday, September 21, 2018 @ 4:00 p.m.
GS record 2-1
1 ANC Ursula Friesen def. GS Lauren Whyte 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5)
2 GS Katherine Hoang def. ANC Camryn Buss retired (injury)
3 ANC Serena Bayesen def. Kate Lyden 6-2, 6-3
1 GS Kate Levesque / Arshi Nagra def. ANC Naida Navarro / Annoe Connelly 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
2 GS Grace Song / Annika Crawford def ANC Thea Kal / Julie Daum 6-1, 6-0
What a day! We had to switch things around quite a bit, due to illness on both our first doubles and our first singles lineups! So, Kate had her first official singles match today. She was superb! 150% effort and determination contributed to her 2.5 hours on the courts. Kate's opponent played a very similar game and they traded sets right off the bat. Shot for shot, point for point, it was exciting to watch. A few more unforced errors from Kate tipped the balance—otherwise, no one knew who would emerge the winner. Kate performed extremely well and will have another singles spot at Peddie tomorrow.
At first singles, Lauren had her debut today. What a cliffhanger. She shook out her nerves after the end of the first set where the unforced errors hurt her game. Lauren's opponent was a good runner, too, and hunted down every shot, but then, bam!! Lauren would whip an extreme angle backhand or even forehand to surprise her. Plus a few perfectly placed down the line shots to the far corners were icing on the cake she served. The last set looked like Lauren would bow to her early, for the score suddenly was 0-3. NO!!! Lauren would not accept this and dug in hard. Wow, it was neck in neck from 3-3 up to the end, whereby only two tie break points, Lauren lost to a final, well-placed volley by the ANC player.
First Doubles – Kate Levesque and Arshi Nagra
With Phoebe Johnson under the weather, Arshi Nagra was called upon to fill out the first doubles team with Kate Levesque. After a bit of a slow start, Kate and Arshi responded to a 3-6 first-set deficit by digging deep and taking the next two sets 7-5 and 6-4. The scores reflected a hard-fought battle with both of the girls demonstrating impressive net play. In the second set, Arshi’s serve came alive. With both power and accuracy, she aced her opponents on several occasions and took one service game without losing a point. Kate was able to consistently place her groundstrokes deep into the ANC court and utilized the lob to her advantage. Congrats to Kate and Arshi on a terrific match.
Second Doubles – Grace Song and Annika Crawford
Grace and Annika handled their first match together in fine fashion. With strong groundstrokes, well-placed volleys and consistent serves, the Cougars controlled the pace of play from the beginning. Annika showed off her speed, getting to balls that would be winners in most other matches. Grace’s blistering forehand service returns gave their opponents fits and proved to make the difference in several of the games. Congratulations to Annika for her first Varsity match, and first win. Way to go Cougars!
We always enjoy playing ANC, for the team is super sweet and polite.
George School @ Peddie School—Saturday, September 22, 2018 @ 1:15 p.m.
Peddie 7 GS 0
Peddie record: 3-1
GS record: 2-2
Weather: cool day, overcast
1 Peddie Kathryn Fang def. GS Fiona Keith 6-0, 6-0
2 Peddie Emme Pham def. GS Lauren Whyte 6-0, 6-2
3 Peddie Ayanna Zaveri def. GS Katherine Hoang 6-2, 6-4
4 Peddie Helen Chu def. GS Kate Lyden 6-4, 6-2
1 Peddie Jessica Cheng/Anna Möller def. GS Kate Levesque/Phoebe Johnson 6-3, 6-0
2 Peddie Maddie Mitch/Brooke Perlman def. GS Arshi Nagra/Grace Song 6-0, 6-0
3 Peddie Madison Zimmerman/Meredith Lipman def. GS Annika Crawford/Carol Lu
4-6, 6-2, TB third set 14-12
This was quite a day! Peddie usually fields a strong team, and today was no different in that respect. Great day for the sport, with only bits of sun and lots of clouds, accompanied by a cool breeze. The wind sweeping across the courts required the players to calculate their loopy shots as they could land far from the intended target. And, just for fun, there was a huge party in the next neighborhood, a quinceañera to be exact, complete with loud dance music and plenty of party talk booming from loudspeakers.
Fiona, back from her short absence, performed well as she countered most of the shots that her opponent gave her. The points were long, and Fiona held on to many of them before a put away or an aggressive forehand from the Peddie player. Fiona's serve proved difficult to return and she gained free points with it. Alas, the Peddie opponent was consistent and had the upper hand today. This was a good match to prepare for our upcoming one versus FCS on Tuesday.
On the next court over, Lauren, with 2.5 hours of tennis in her legs from yesterday's match, worked equally hard to stay on top of her points. Just like yesterday, Lauren showed her opponent some extreme crosscourt topspin shots and she ran down balls that the Peddie player carefully placed in the corners. And, similar to Fiona's match, the final score does not reflect the quality of play. Lauren played a respectable match, well-played match and will be ready for anything on Tuesday versus FCS.
Katherine was our number three singles today, and she finished the day with an increasing number of games. After getting used to the Peddie player's game plan during the first set, Katherine found herself with more strategies and more confidence to work her way into a head-to-head second set. It was exciting to see Katherine work on her opponent's backhand and to watch Katherine bring her opponent up to net in order to pass or lob her. Katherine had a very good day, despite coming up short.
At number four singles, Kate Lyden fought the entire match to catch her opponent off balance. The Peddie player's defense was her offense, making it tough to score points. Kate's opponent took few chances, sending most of her responses to the midcourt and cutting off any angles for Kate to earn points with. Hmmm. A head-scratcher. It was not easy to bring the player to net, nor was it easy to wrong-foot her. Kate started the second set with a sore wrist and a painful toe (from yesterday's 2.5-hour match). She was a real trooper out there today, showing that she will never give up. What a good match.
First Doubles – Kate Levesque and Phoebe Johnson
Kate and Phoebe were reunited for a difficult test today in the first doubles position. Facing a formidable Peddie team, the Cougars were ecstatic to find themselves at 2-3 in the first set and the feeling that they could keep up with their opponents. Unfortunately, the Peddie girls proved a bit too tough at the net, putting away even the most accurate of our girls’ groundstrokes. While the first set was close (3-6), the girls struggled in the second dropping the set 0-6. Despite the defeat, Phoebe and Kate should feel really good about their play. They communicated very well and executed some excellent passing shots and lobs. Nice work!
Second Doubles – Arshi Nagra and Grace Song
Arshi and Grace faced a very strong Peddie pair today. The score (6-0, 6-0) was not, however, an accurate representation of their play. Facing two very strong volleyers, the Cougars adjusted well, hitting some lasers down the line and crossing up their opponents with sharp angles. Arshi continued to serve well and Grace’s forehand was formidable. Despite the result, the girls can take away a lot of positives on which to build for their next match.
Third Doubles – Annika Crawford and Carol Lu
Making her Varsity debut, Carol joined Annika at third singles and came just two points away from notching the one victory of the day. The young duo took the first set (6-4) by playing consistent tennis and waiting for their opponents to make mistakes. Both girls showed incredible athleticism, chasing down tough shots and frustrating the Peddie girls with their tenacity. Despite their efforts, Peddie countered with a win in the second set (2-6), forcing a 10-point tiebreaker to decide the match. The Cougars were down early but came back to tie it up at 6-6 before going ahead 8-7. After several long rallies, the Peddie team pushed the match to 12-12. Unfortunately, Peddie took the next two points and the match. It was a fantastic outing and the team should feel really good about their play. Way to go, Carol and Annika.
George School @ The Hun School of Princeton—Friday, September 28, 2018 @ 4:00 p.m.
George School @ Abington Friends School—Tuesday, October 2, 2018 @ 4:00 p.m.
GS record to date: 2-3 (1-1 FSL)
AFS 4 GS 1
1 GS Fiona Keith def. AFS Amira Parker 6-4, 5-7, 6-0
2 AFS Jordan Smith def. GS Lauren Whyte 6-2, 6-1
3 AFS Grace Sousa def. GS Katherine Hoang 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
1 AFS Lily Silverman / Allie Mele def. Kate Levesque / Phoebe Johnson 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (TB 7-3)
2 AFS Lily Ehsani / Ya-Ya Chen def. Arshi Nagra / Kate Lyden 6-3, 7-5
exhibition doubles: GS Annika Crawford / Grace Song def. AFS Echo (?) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
Great tennis weather today - overcast with a breeze and not too warm.
It is hard to pick "The match of the day" today, since of the six matches (5 standard and 1 exhibition), four of them went to three sets. Everyone fought hard and honestly, the whole match could easily have swung either way.
At second singles was Lauren, who worked hard to find a piece of the court where her opponent could not connect with the ball. Lauren's usual bread-and-butter strokes were not enough for the AFS player today. Lauren moved her opponent horizontally and tried to bring her to net, but with limited success. A long reach and a conservative game won more points for the AFSer today, despite solid strategies from Lauren.
Two cliff hangers held our attention on the singles court today. At first singles, Fiona played perhaps her best match in recent memory. After a neck-in-neck first set where Fiona squeaked out her initial set victory, the AFS player came back with determination and edged out Fiona near the end of the set when Fiona had one hiccup of a game. Then, a quick break before the final set and Fiona was ready to take on her opponent. Stepping into her balls, focusing on that sweet feeling of victory, Fiona tasted point after point, baffling the AFS opponent until suddenly, the score was lopsided. Fiona, jumping for joy on the inside, was calm and reflective on the outside as she shook hands, happy that the third set was 100% in her favor. What a great match!
The other cliffhanger could be found on the middle court today. Everyone else had finished as Katherine entered her third and final set. In the first one, Katherine dominated but found herself playing catch up in the second set as her opponent ran everything down, sending balls back well within the sidelines. Katherine created each point, but her opponent responded well simply by meeting the ball and putting it back in play. In the final set, Katherine dug deep to work the ball even more, but her opponent had conserved more energy and made fewer errors. In the end, Katherine couldn't hang on to the lead as she saw her opponent gain strength with each earned point. It was quite a match!
1st Doubles – Kate Levesque and Phoebe 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3-7)
Kate and Phoebe represented GS well in their first-doubles match against AFS. Starting out a bit sluggish, the Cougars were down 0-3 in the first but showed signs of life as they extended the set to 4-2. The AFS girls were tough, however, and hung on to clinch the first set. The second set was a different story, with Phoebe and Kate showing their abilities both at the net and the baseline. Phoebe’s serve was on target and the pair managed to fend off a charge from the AFS duo and take the second set. The third set was a battle of long rallies, tough lobs, and fierce winners. Unfortunately, the AFS team took the third set, and the match in a tiebreaker. Congratulations on a hard-fought match.
2nd Doubles – Kate Lyden and Arshi Nagra 3-6, 5-7
Kate and Arshi took on a formidable AFS pair at second-doubles. Although the two teams were evenly matched, their opponents played with a great deal of tenacity, making incredible shots on presumed winners. Arshi’s serve continues to be a strength for the team and Kate played a fantastic match at the net. The teams traded games early but AFS was able to break the trend and take the first set 3-6. With a few subtle adjustments, the Cougars came out in the second looking like they were going to trade sets and force a third frame. The score was five all and the Cougars had the serve. Unfortunately, the AFS team found a way to take the final two games and finish the set 5-7. There is plenty from the match for the girls to be proud of and build on for the next match on Thursday.
3rd Doubles – Grace Song and Annika Crawford 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
Grace and Annika paired up to fill out the doubles line-up, playing in the third position. The Cougars made short work of their opponents in the first set, taking it easily 6-1. The second was another story as the AFS began to pick up their play and anticipate our shots. Ultimately, AFS took the second set and forced another three-set match. Returning to the form they showed in the first, Grace and Annika took control of the pace, hitting beautiful forehands and holding their ground at the net. The set was one of the most entertaining of the afternoon as the points went long and unimaginable shots were made. Another excellent win for the Cougars.
Overall, despite the final score of 1-4 (2-4 with our exhibition doubles), our girls played their hearts out today finishing with more points today than we have seen in the last two weeks put together! Great job, everyone!
Thursday, we will play home vs. Calvary Christian, followed by another home match Friday vs. Germantown Friends. Please come out to support us!
George School vs Calvary Christian Academy—Thursday, October 4, 2018 @ 4:00 p.m.
GS record to date 3-3
CCA record; 0-5
GS 5 CCA 1 (three singles and three doubles, just to switch it up!)
1 CCA Amanda Shiley def. GS Fiona Keith 6-4, 6-2
2 GS Katherine Hoang def. CCA Makenzy Holmes
3 GS Kate Lyden def. CCA Lane Winterstein
1 GS Kate Levesque / Phoebe Johnson def. CCA Abigail Steenbakkers /Chloe Ehrgott 6-3, 6-0
2 GS Arshi Nagra / Carol Lu def. CCA Soniyah Youngblood / Hope Downs 6-0, 6-0
3 GS Grace Song / Annika Crawford def. CCA Shalini Joy / Riley Rubino 6-1, 6-1
Cloudy skies, comfortable but a bit humid.
Calvary Christian came with friendly players who played well-fought matches. On court #1 Fiona's opponent had one strategy—to return the ball. She proved that she was not going away as Fiona worked the CCA player around the court and tried many different shots to find a weakness. With a conservative and consistent approach, the CCA player ran everything down that Fiona fed her, neutralizing Fiona's hard work. This match was frustrating, especially considering that Fiona was on fire on Tuesday, overcoming her talented AFS opponent in three sets. Fiona gave it everything she had today as she looks forward to her next match.
Court #2 highlighted Katherine at second singles while Lauren took a break today. Katherine's heavy topspin won her points as she pulled her opponent laterally off the court. Although the CCA player gained strength in the second set, Katherine was able to hang on to her lead and break serve twice in the second half of the last set. This was Katherine's first win this season and will set the pace for her future matches. Nice win!
On court #3, Kate showcased her singles skills, showing the CCA player that she was a force to reckon with. While the first set score went back and forth until the last half, the second set was a one-sided for Kate. She worked her opponent from side to side, and pushed her deep into the court, preventing offensive return shots. Great job today on the court, Kate! Kate will double up with Arshi tomorrow in our home match vs. Germantown Friends. Be sure to come watch!
Losing just five games in three complete matches, the George School doubles teams were on fire today against Cavalry Christian Academy.
At first doubles, Kate Levesque and Phoebe Johnson returned to fine form, taking the match 6-3,6-0. The girls came out quickly wining the first few games before being lulled into a sense of security and letting the CCA duo back in the match. After a short conference between games, the Cougars realized their error and took back control of the play. From there it was all GS, with Phoebe and Kate winning the next nine games and taking home the victory. The match was a very good lesson for the team in playing your own game and we are very proud of the girls for their mid-match adjustments. Way to go!
Second doubles was a clinic in strong serving and well-placed groundstrokes. Arshi Nagra and Carol Lu teamed up in what would prove to be a lopsided 6-0, 6-0 victory. The Cougars demonstrated strong communication as they alternated between solid net play, tactical lobs and deep forehand winners. It was one of those days when both players were firing on all cylinders and it would have taken a very experienced team to beat them. Excellent work, Arshi and Carol.
Grace Song and Annika Crawford rounded out the doubles victories today with a 6-1, 6-1 win. Similar to their match on Tuesday, Grace’s forehand return of serve was much too powerful and well-placed for the CCA duo. This, coupled with Annika’s speed and ability to return just about any shot, gave the girls all of the tools they needed to continue their winning streak. Well done, Annika and Grace!
Friday is another home match—come support our girls as they face GFS!
George School vs Germantown Friends School—Friday, October 5, 2018 @ 4:00 p.m.
GS record: 3-4 overall
GFS record: 3-2 overall
GFS Mariel Kavanaugh def. GS Lauren Whyte 6-0, 6-0
GFS Malana Li def. GS Katherine Hoang 6-4, 6-0
GFS Harper Zuercher def. GS Kate Lyden 6-0, 6-0
GFS Taylor Ford / Marlie Golden def.GS Kate Levesque / Phoebe Johnson 6-0, 6-0
GFS Daisy Lentz / Tsega Afassa def. GS Arshi Nagra / Carol Lu 6-0, 6-2
Lauren worked hard on the courts, stepping in for Fiona who had the day off. Although at first Lauren struggled to find her footing for consistent strokes, in the second set she began to connect better with the ball. The GFS player responded well, however, and had the upper hand. Lauren finished on a positive note due to longer and more satisfying rallies, but GFS was too much for the match.
Katherine faced a tough player today. The first set was a real fight as the players traded points and games. The GFS player broke Katherine once and that was all she needed to win the set. Set number two seemed like a blur. The points were shorter and the angles from the GFS player were increasingly effective. The GFS player gained strength as the match went on and suddenly it was over too quickly.
Kate played against probably the most talented player on the courts today. (How is it that she was #3?) But Kate was ready for anything, even after the warm up. The GFS girl dominated play and Kate responded better and better with each game. I enjoyed watching Kate anticipate shots as she would head towards the next point. There were plenty of quality points today on the third singles court.
Going up against one of the top teams in the FSL is always a challenge and today was no different. But the scores don’t always tell the whole story.
Kate Levesque and Phoebe Johnson took to the court at first-doubles knowing that they were about to face formidable opponents. Despite the power and accuracy of the GFS duo, our girls played one of their finest matches this year. Most games went to deuce at least once, usually more, and there were several times when the game could have gone the other way but for an inch or two. Phoebe’s serve has become one of the most consistent on the team and Kate continues to stand in and play fierce shots from the net. As they should, the Cougars felt really good about their play despite the final outcome.
Arshi Nagra teamed up with Carol Lu in what would be one of the more frustrating matches of the season. While both girls served incredibly well and hit deep groundstrokes, their opponents controlled the net and were able to place shots just out of reach. The Cougars were able to match the GFS girls at the baseline in topspin rallies, but they had difficulty handling the fierce slicing forehands and backhands that came their way. Although they dropped the first set 0-6, Arshi and Carol did manage to take a couple of games in the second and pushed several to deuce. The girls should feel very good about the effort they put into getting to every shot. We’ll get them next time.
George School @ Shipley School—Tuesday, October 9, 2018 @ 4:00 p.m.
George School vs Friends Select School—Friday, October 12, 2018 @ 4:00 p.m.
Friends Select record (FSL) 0-3
GS FSL record 2-2 / overall record 4-5
Weather: cool, breezy, partly sunny
FS Amelia Squires def. GS Fiona Keith 6-4, 6-2
FS Madeline Squires def. GS Lauren Whyte 6-0, 6-0
GS Katherine Hoang def. FS Tal Lesnik 6-0, 6-2
GS Kate Levesque/Phoebe Johnson def. Kate Young/ Sophie Suint-Cyria 6-1, 6-1
GS Arshi Nagra/Kate Lyden def. Alex Shapiro / Karolina Vainstein 6-1, 6-0
The wind was definitely a factor today as all players had to deal with readjusting their game. Service tosses, the amount of topspin and especially footwork were often affected by swirling wind. Points would have been more predictable had the wind been coming from one direction only.
Fiona faced a strong player today whose forehand had pinpoint precision. While the first set started out one sided, Fiona put up an impressive fight, falling just short of evening up the score. Although Fiona was more successful in directing more rallies in the second set, the FS player ultimately finished the points. A hard-fought match.
Today, our second singles match was dominated by the opposing player. While Lauren tried different strategies to elicit errors across the net, her efforts were nullified. The FS player made few unforced errors, resulting in a one-sided match. Although disappointing, Lauren's match was hard fought. The FS #2 singles player was at least as strong as #1, if not stronger.
Over on the third singles court, Katherine blew through the first set in record time, confusing her opponent and racking up points as quickly as the changing winds. Katherine took advantage of her player's footwork, and she dominated the match from the start. While the second set showed improvement for Friends Select, Katherine toughed it out and stayed on top. This win helped GS clinch the overall match! Nice job, Katherine.
The Cougar doubles teams fared quite well on Friday, dropping a combined total of three games over two matches.
Phoebe Johnson and Kate Levesque continued their strong play at first-doubles. The duo pounced on every opportunity for service return winners and demonstrated a great deal of precision at the net. Taking control of the match early, Phoebe showed that she can play the finesse volley, hitting into the open court and using tight angles. Kate pulled off a couple of well-placed down the line winners that kept the FSS girls on their toes. With a final score of 6-1, 6-1, it was an all-around excellent match and they should feel confident as we head into next week’s matches against two of the top teams, Friends Central and Moorestown Friends.
Arshi Nagra and Kate Lyden paired up again in the second-doubles spot. Matched against a young FSS duo, the Cougars took an early lead and never looked back. Arshi’s serve continues to get better with each match, racking up a couple of aces and forcing several service return errors. Kate showed her leadership abilities bydirecting the team’s court movement and hitting shots that played to the strengths of their formation. The Cougars only lost one game in the match (6-1, 6-0) and demonstrated a strong chemistry that will prove necessary over the last couple of weeks of the season. Well done Arshi and Kate!