fbpx

Varsity Girls Tennis

RSS |

Varsity Girls Tennis 2019-2020 Season

George School vs Princeton Day School

Saturday, September 7, 2019 @ 1:00 p.m.
Loss 2-3
Home Directions To George School
PDS 3
GS 2
1 GS Maya Kowalska def. PDS Amy Zhou 6-0, 6-1
2 PDS Neha Khandkar def. GS Susanne Kowalska 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
3 GS Kate Lyden def. PDS Gabby Namari 6-4, retired
1 PDS Hannah Van Dusan / Hayden Masia def. GS Arshi Nagra / Grace Song 6-2, 6-0
2 PDS Saiya Ghandi / Sophie Zhang def. GS Carol Lu / Neha Kotha 6-2, 6-2
exhibition doubles GS Kate Levesque / Abby Silver def. PDS Josephine Baranski / Stella R 6-4, 6-3
Considering the crazy week we had with tryouts, rain and ladders, today went well for our season opener at home. Many parents, siblings, and friends were present for this perfect tennis day under the sunny skies, sprinkled with occasional clouds. Thank you to all who came out to support!
Heading our singles players today was Maya, with a decisive win over her opponent. With their share of long rallies and carefully placed groundstrokes, however, it was sometimes hard to tell who would finish the point first. Both players worked hard with varied shots, but Maya's mix of topspin and slice caught her opponent off guard on numerous occasions. Maya pounded endless forehands, leaving the PDS player to run them down, often unsuccessfully. Focus and determination reigned on the GS #1 court today as Maya won her first team tennis match. Great job, Maya!
Third singles with Kate carefully assessing the situation was a pleasure to watch. It was neck and neck for the duration of the first set as the girls battled it out to eek ahead of one another. After swapping a few service breaks and finding her rhythm, Kate pulled ahead in the first set to take home her first victory of her senior year. It was unfortunate that her opponent had to retire at the end of the set, however, because both players were exchanging respectable rallies and using the court well. Way to go, Kate!
The match of the day was on center court, with Susanne debuting also in her first tennis team competition. A case of the nerves caught Susanne early, but with true grit, she dug in and pulled her score from 2-5 to 5-5! Running down what should have been outright winners, Susanne showed her opponent that she would not go down easily. After dropping the eleventh game, Susanne came back once again and evened the score at 6-6. The tiebreak did not go Susanne's way, however, which helped the PDS player enter the second set with renewed confidence. Set number 2 went quickly, despite 150% effort on Susanne's part who worked hard to stay in every point. PDS prevailed, but Susanne finished strong today with the most exciting points of the entire match. Super effort, Susanne!

First Doubles:

Arshi and Grace stepped up for their debut match at first doubles on Saturday. While the girls came up a bit short, the score (6-2, 6-0) does not tell the whole story. The teams were more evenly matched, with several of the games going to deuce. Unfortunately, the ball just didn’t bounce their way on a number of critical points. There were several bright spots for the Cougars, however, with Arshi demonstrating a blistering first-serve and Grace finding the alley on several rockets from her forehand. As we look to Tuesday’s match, it is safe to say that Arshi and Grace will build on their successes and come out ready to go. Way to go, girls.

 

Second Doubles

With an early-season injury, Neha Kotha was asked to step in to fill the spot at second doubles; pairing up with Carol Lu in their first match together.  Much like the first doubles match, the Cougar girls took several games to deuce, but had difficulty converting on the Ad court. While Carol and Neha both hit some exceptional shots, they were frustrated by the spectacular net play of the PDS duo. Seeming winners were picked out of the air and returned with authority. To the girls’ credit, however, they never gave up on a ball and managed to keep the rallies alive on several occasions. Tuesday will see the return of a full squad with Neha playing singles for the first time in her Varsity career.

 

Third Doubles

Abby Silver and Kate Levesque had a spectacular opening bid, taking the match in straight sets (6-4, 6-3). It was Abby’s first competition since an injury sidelined her for the 2018-2019 season and we were glad to have her back. She has lost little at the net, putting away volleys with both power and placement. Kate’s serve was on point, putting their opponents on the defensive from the start. Well done, Cougars.

Tuesday we play Peddie HOME -- come cheer us on!!

Lyman and Cheri

George School vs Peddie School

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 @ 4:15 p.m.
Loss 2-5
Home Directions To George School
We had our best showing versus Peddie in quite a while. Three fantastic contests took place today
In the 4th singles position, Neha played hard! This was Neha's first varsity singles match and while she struggled with a case of the nerves, she worked on strategies to move her opponent around the court. Neha worked to keep her player deep and away from the net, giving her deep shots at every possibility. Despite occasional out balls, Neha never gave up, leaving the Peddie player to hit one more ball. More topspin in her next match will definitely help her out. Neha's speed and determination were evident in this match! Keep it up, Neha!
Susanne found herself being moved around every inch of the court in the first set on the second singles court. Her leftie opponent's heavy topspin took control early in the game and Susanne, true to form, ran down just about every stroke, never throwing in the towel. Susanne's focus was sharp today and although she went down relatively quickly in the first set, she sprung to life in the second, posing a real threat to the Peddie player. At 3-3, Susanne's opponent began to turn it on, forcing Susanne to stretch herself to new heights. This match was fun to watch and was only Susanne's second match with her GS team! Way to go, Susanne!
On the third singles court, Kate faced a very consistent player whose main goal was to return the ball just out of Kate's reach. This basic plan was enough to accumulate points effectively, leading to a few quick games. Kate dug in her heels and added one game to her first set score, no small feat under these conditions. The overall quality of the shots on both sides of the net was very good despite the score. I am proud of the effort that Kate put forth -- you can always count on Kate for giving 100%. Friday should be fun on third singles, Kate! You've got this!
The longest and most grueling match took place without a doubt on the #1 singles court. As Maya worked patiently and chipped away at the initial confidence of her talented opponent, she soon found herself with a commanding lead: 5-2. But this is tennis, and anything can happen. The Peddie player little by little turned it around, crawled back into the set as Maya was forced to produce more precise shots under pressure, shots that ultimately missed their mark if only by a little. The excitement was palpable at 5-5 and never subsided until Maya's opponent, with renewed confidence, was able to maneuver a series of winning points. Disappointed after almost two hours of hard work for the first set, Maya saw the second set slip by quickly. Passers-by stopped to watch this incredible match up, one where either player had a shot at victory. Great playing, Maya! Rest up for Friday!

1st doubles

Arshi and Grace faced another tough duo this week at the #1 doubles position. The girls came out strong, with Arshi continuing to improve her 1st serve percentage and Grace honing her forehand returns. Unfortunately, the Peddie duo was impenetrable at the net, hitting wicked angled volleys for winners. Although the score was 0-6, 0-6, the Cougars showed improvement in many aspects of their game that will prove to make for a winning combination. As one spectator mentioned, “these two never give up on a ball. They are so much fun to watch.”

 

2nd doubles

Phoebe and Carol came away with a straight-set victory in their first match as a doubles team. The Cougars broke serve fairly early in the first, taking the set 6-4. A renewed Peddie team came back in the second set, trading games with our girls. At 4-5, it looked like this match was going to go the distance but improved net-play and a focus on hitting deep groundstrokes proved to be too much for Peddie. The Cougars took the last three games and the match 6-4, 7-5. Way to go!

 

3rd doubles

Third Doubles saw the return of Abby and Kate Levesque to fine form. Abby looked really comfortable at the net, hitting deep volleys and tight angles for winners. Kate’s serve, once again, proved consistent, keeping the Peddie duo on the defensive and setting up for quick points. Like the second doubles match, our girls took an early lead, winning the first set 6-3. To their credit, Peddie adjusted well and forced another extended set with the Cougars prevailing 7-5. Nice, work Abby and Kate.

We are away Friday at Perkiomen, then, away the next day at the Friends School League Invitational at Westtown. Take a trip and come see us!
Peddie 5 (record to date 2-0)
GS 2 (record to date 0-2)
1 Peddie Kathryn Fang def. GS Maya Kowalska 7-5, 6-0
2 Peddie Emme Pham def. GS Susanne Kowalska 6-1, 6-3
3 Peddie Ayanna Zaveri def GS Kate Lyden 6-2, 6-3
4 Peddie Meghna Chityala def. GS Neha Kotha 6-1, 6-0
1 Peddie Jessica Cheng / Julia Finkle def. GS Arshi Nagra / Grace Song 6-0, 6-0
2 GS Carol Lu / Phoebe Johnson def. Peddie Madison Zimmermann / Olivia Emma  6-4, 7-5
3 GS Kate Levesque / Abby Silver def. Peddie Daniella Donohue / Angela Silvi  6-3, 7-5

George School @ Perkiomen School

Friday, September 13, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Loss 2-3
Perkiomen 3 (record 3-0)
GS 2 (record 0-3)
1 Perkiomen Julia Kelly def. GS Maya Kowalska 6-3, 6-1
2 Perkiomen Emma Schultz def. GS Susanne Kowalska 6-4, 6-3
3 Perkiomen Kate Galant def. GS Kate Lyden  6-3, 6-1
1 GS Arshi Nagra / Grace Song def. Perkiomen Marie Rudolph / Helena Balzer 6-2, 7-6 (TB 7-5)
2 GS Carol Lu / Phoebe Johnson def. Perkiomen Sara Oswald / Abirami / Chinnakaruppan  5-7, 6-4, TB10-7
It was perfect tennis weather today -- overcast and 65 degrees. Some of the players had a hard time shaking off the effects of our bus ride which felt like a heavy weight upon us as we warmed up for our match.
On court #1, Maya faced a highly experienced senior, with a lightening serve and map on her racket. I was proud of Maya as she took four games from her opponent, frustrating her as Maya forced numerous long forehands from her opponent, missing their mark. Maya put her heart into this match and came up short not for lack of spirit. Matching shot for shot became the object of the game, but Maya found herself outpaced today.
Court #2 set the stage for a bit of a roller coaster ride. After taking an early lead in the first set, Susanne watched the score tighten as her opponent found shots that she lacked in the first games. Susanne struggled to produce clean shots today, leading to inconsistent rallies, many of them going in favor to the Perk player. Watching Susanne play today was nonetheless delightful, for I always knew that she would run down each and every ball. She did just that, but was unable to turn it around.
On the adjacent court, #3, Kate had to fight for her points today. While she produced fine shot selections, some points lacked the usual focus and determination that we are used to seeing from Kate. The Perk player was determined to send back every ball, playing a safe and effective match. Tomorrow will be a better day on the courts for Kate.
Our second dubs felt like a lesson in patience for both Carol and Phoebe. Lots were happening on the court; between unpredictable shots from the Perkiomen girls and difficulties with our serves, I didn't know what would be the outcome. After dropping the first set that they should have won (!), Phoebe GOT MAD! Mad at not playing hers and Carol's game. Mad at the inconsistency on the court. Mad meant good for Phoebe and Carol, for it was contagious. Both girls suddenly started directing traffic on court #5. After taking the second set, they finished with a cliffhanger third set tiebreak game, neck and neck until 7-7. Three points later, and we had our first win of the afternoon.
Our first dubs stepped on the courts with confidence, taking an early lead and finishing the first set strong. Arshi produced crisp volleys while Grace stroked crosscourt deep shots like a pro. The second set began with the Perkiomen duo hitting more accurately when it counted. Suddenly our pair was trailing at 4-5 and wondering how they could even it up and move forward. An exciting tiebreak (7-5) ended it all as I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that we had our second win of the afternoon.
All in all, an up and down afternoon, with more tennis to look forward to tomorrow at the Friends School League Tennis Invitational, hosted by Westtown. Please come watch! It begins at 10:00 and each player is guaranteed to play two matches. A friendly match for the players to get to know each other before the FSL season begins.

George School @ FSL Tennis Invitational

Saturday, September 14, 2019 @ 10:00 a.m.
-
Our top seven participated in the FSL Invitational today and played two rounds of tennis, each round consisted of an eight-game proset with no add scoring. It was a day of getting to know some players against whom we will play this fall. Good strategies, lots of fun! Thank you to Westtown for hosting.
Here are our results:
1 GS Maya Kowalska def. GFS Harper Zuercher 8-5
   SS Tori Allen def. GS Maya Kowalska 8-4
2 GS Susanne Kowalska def. WS Rylee Boles 8-3
   MFS Roma Jha def. GS Susanne Kowalska 8-5
3 MFS Julia Tourtelotte def. GS Kate Lyden  8-3
   MFS Blithe def. GS Kate Lyden 8-7 (TB 7-3)
1 GS Arshi Nagra / Grace Song def. WS Kate Soland / Laura McDunough 8-7  (TB 7-5)
   FCS Amira Parker / Grace Sousa def. GS Ars hi Nagra / Grace Song 8-5
2 GS Carol Lu / Phoebe Johnson def. FSS Sofia St. Cry / Yianna Ljachin 8-0
   FCS doubles team def. GS Carol Lu / Phoebe Johnson 8-1

George School vs Westtown School

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Win 3-2
Home Directions To George School
GS 3 (record 1-3)
Westtown 2 (record 0-4)
1 GS Maya Kowalska def. WS Claire Burke 6-1, 6-0
2 GS Susanne Kowalska def. WS Grace Sokoll 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
3 WS Riley Booles def. GS Kate Lyden  5-7, 6-1, TB 10-7
1 GS Arshi Nagra / Phoebe Johnson def. WS Danielle Uribe / Alice Yeung 6-2, 6-2
2 WS Kate Soland / Laura McDonogh def. GS Carol Lu / Grace Song   7-6 (7-4), 6-4

exhibition singles

GS Neha Kotha def. WS May Savage 6-1, 6-2

George School vs Shipley School

Friday, September 20, 2019 @ 4:15 p.m.
Loss 1-4
Home Directions To George School
SS 4 (record to date 3-1)
GS 1 (record to date 1-3; FSL record 1-1)
1 SS Tori Allen def. GS Maya Kowalska 6-0, 6-3
2 SS Lilia Becker def. GS Susanne Kowalska 6-2, 6-0
3 SS Audrey Fink def. GS Kate Lyden 6-3, 7-5
1 SS Allison Mancio / Bella Willing def. GS Arshi Nagra / Phoebe Johnson
2 GS Grace Song / Carol Lu def. SS Hannah Book / Julia Dockman 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
4 singles exhibition GS Neha Kotha def. SS Grace Gao 6-3, 3-6, TB 10-3
What a fantastic day we had today! Perfect temps, sunny skies and lots of close sets with our Shipley friends. At the risk of just sounding cheery, our girls really put together some very fine points this afternoon. Far from the usual one-sided results, this year's Cougar team pushed the Shipley players to their limits on numerous points, and leading to seesaw games.
On court #1, Maya Kowalska '23 fought hard for every point, but came up short against her opponent. She dug in her heels, matching stroke for stroke in the second set where each girl pushed the other, finding the corners and the sidelines. The high quality of the shots kept all eyes glued to their court, as they battled it out. I was proud of Maya as she moved forward, putting the first set behind her. Taking three games off her opponent in set #2 made the Shipley player work harder and longer before she pulled away. Tremendous effort, Maya!
Next door on court #2, Susanne Kowalska '21 found her rhythm early in the game with solid groundstrokes, full follow-throughs, and renewed confidence. Just as Susanne began to put together successful strategies backed by crisp groundstrokes, her opponent's backhand grew stronger and more accurate. Susanne put up a formidable fight today, running down balls that, for most players, would have gone untouched. Not for Susanne. Her keen anticipation and quick feet took her directly to the ball, as she connected with almost every ball sent her way. Super points, Susanne!
Another cliffhanger took place on court #3 where Kate Lyden '20 hosted her player, highlighting an array of shot selections and strategies. Kate's racket was right on the ball today, with plenty of pace. Her opponent began to read Kate's racket more accurately as the match went on, and she gained short stroked the ball for Kate on numerous occasions. Kate executed beautiful lobs over the Shipley backhand side and gave herself renewed life with each accurate lob. But alas, Kate, ahead at 5-4 in the second set, was unable to hold her lead and soon saw it slip away. This was a great match. Kate, super job!

First Doubles

Fresh off of their win over Westtown, the first doubles team of Phoebe Johnson '20 and Arshi Nagra '22 were feeling good about their chances against Shipley. The Cougars got off to an early lead, taking the first four of five games. Unfortunately, the Shipley girls found their rhythm and began to make shots both at the net and at the baseline. The teams traded games and it looked like we might still win the first set, but Shipley was able to turn it up a notch higher and managed to take the next several games and the first set 5-7. Riding the momentum, Shipley overpowered our girls in the second set, winning 2-6. While the score was not what we had hoped it to be, Phoebe and Arshi should feel very good about their play. Arshi’s serve continues to get stronger and more consistent and Phoebe is a force at the net. It is fair to say that we did not lose this match, but rather Shipley, won.

Second Doubles

Second Doubles was the match of the day. Like the first doubles match, Grace Song '21 and Carol Lu '21 started off strong, trading games with a formidable team from Shipley. A bit of trouble with their serves and strong net play by the Shipley pair proved too much for the Cougars who dropped the first set 2-6. Determined to push the match to its limits, Grace and Carol battled back in the second set, winning 6-4 and forcing a third set. Tired and a bit frustrated, our girls reached deep and pushed the third set to a 5-5 tie before taking the final two games and the match 7-5. Way to go girls! You showed why we don’t give up and you earned a fantastic victory today.

Be sure to stay tuned for Tuesday's away match vs. Academy of New Church (4:00). Or, come see our talented JV team at home Tuesday vs. Perkiomen (4:00). Go Cougars!

George School @ Academy of the New Church

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Win 4-1
GS 4 (record to date 2-4; FSL record 2-1)
ANC 1 (record to date 2-3)
1 GS Maya Kowalska def. ANC Emma Bryntessen 6-0, 6-3
2 GS Susanne Kowalska def. ANC Nalda Navarro 6-1, 6-3
3 ANC /abbae Connelly def. GS Kate Lyden 7-5, 6-4
1 GS Arshi Nagra / Phoebe Johnson def. ANC Julia Daum / Thea Keal 6-4, 6-1
2 GS Grace Song / Carol Lu def. ANC Rach Cole / Jada Deibert 6-1, 6-2
exhibition JV singles
GS Izzy Kim def. ANC Danni ? 8-2
ANC Larissa ? def. GS Naomi Brangan 8-1
One of our favorite venues, Academy of New Church, was our destination today. At ANC, the coach and players always welcome us warmly and show the utmost sportsmanship on and off the courts. An added plus is that the bus ride is short! To top it off, we played in perfect weather conditions.
At #1 singles, Maya Kowalska '23 enjoyed a flawless afternoon, dominating on her court. Maya didn't need to pull out all her tools in her toolbox, as she finished points judiciously, modeling textbook winners at just the right moments. Her opponent worked hard to keep up with Maya's game plan, and the players exchanged numerous rallies. Way to go, Maya!
Susanne Kowalska '21, at #2 singles, battled well to stay on top of her game today. With long rallies using every inch of the court, both Susanne and the ANC player showed longevity, producing numerous nailbiting points that hit corners, baselines and sidelines on all sides. A fun match to watch! While Susanne continues to work on her consistency of accuracy, she is tops in consistency of effort. No shot goes unanswered for this #2 player! More games could have slipped away from Susanne today, but she simply ran down all the responses from her opponent, resulting in an exciting afternoon. Super job, Susanne!
One court down, at #3 singles, Kate Lyden '20 stayed neck and neck with her opponent during the first set. Only a few points separated them for the duration of the set where Kate led until her opponent came alive near game number seven. The ANC player moved Kate more effectively as the set progressed, causing Kate to commit just a few more errors. The disappointing first set loss led Kate into a "must do this" second set, putting lots of pressure on our player. Unfortunately, the ANC player gained confidence and momentum as she placed the ball even more accurately, just out of reach for Kate, who always gave her best effort. That's what we like about Kate -- she NEVER gives up. 150% effort is normal for her, but today it was not quite enough. Excellent effort, Kate!
1st Doubles

Arshi Nagra '22 and Phoebe Johnson '20 came back after a tough loss last Friday to win a decisive victory over the ANC duo. The Cougars started strong going up 4-1 on the back of Arshi’s serve (two aces in 1 game) and Phoebe’s solid net play (a common refrain these days). The girls got a bit complacent, allowing ANC to come back to within a service break of pushing the set to extra games. Fortunately, they found their bearings again and took the set 6-4. Using their momentum, the team coasted to a 6-1 victory in the second set, bringing their record to 2-1 at the first doubles position. Well done, Arshi and Phoebe.

 

2nd Doubles

Coming off of the stellar win on Friday, Grace Song '21  and Carol Lu '21 began the match with a good deal of confidence and a strong game plan. They took an early lead in the first set and never looked back. As the season rolls on, this duo gets better, communicating well and anticipating what each other will do. Carol’s wicked cross-court forehand return set up easy volleys for Grace to finish the point at the end. And Grace’s speed and tenacity frustrated their opponents at times as she reached almost certain winners. The girls also made excellent use of lobs and a general change of pace, throwing their opponents off of their game. The final score of 6-1, 6-2 reflects the control they had throughout the match. Way to go, Grace and Carol!

Stay tuned for our next match as we face Abington Friends home next Wednesday. Come and support!!

George School vs Abington Friends School

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Win 5-0
Home Directions To George School
GS  5 (record to date 3-4; 3-1 in FSL)
AFS 0
1 GS Maya Kowalska '23 def. AFS Amira Parker 6-0, 6-0
2 GS Susanne Kowalska  '21 def. AFS Grace Sousa  6-0, 6-0
3 GS Kate Lyden '20 def. AFS Zoe Gittleman  6-3, 6-1
1 GS Arshi Nagra '22 / Phoebe Johnson '20 def. AFS Emma Cameron / Caly Tran 6-1, 6-2
2 GS Grace Song '21 / Carol Lu '21 def. AFS Lily Goldstein / Bella Washington 6-1, 6-2
Exhibition 4th singles
GS Neha Kotha '22 def. AFS Cydney Brown 6-4, 7-5

George School @ Germantown Friends School

Friday, October 4, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Loss 1-4
GFS 4 record to date 6-2-1 (4-1 in Friends School League)
GS 1 record to date 3-5 (3-2 in Friends School League)
1 GS Maya Kowalska def. GFS Taylor Ford  6-4, 6-1
2 GFS Mariel Kavanagh def. GS Susanne Kowalska 6-1, 6-1
3 GFS Harper Zeucher def. GS Kate Lyden 6-1, 6-1
1 GFS Tsega Afessa / Joanna Lin / Bella Willing def. GS Arshi Nagra / Phoebe Johnson 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
2 GFS Alyssa Kang / Cece Idinopulos def GS Grace Song / Carol Lu 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
1 singles exhibition GS Kate Levesque def. GFS Riley Helfrich 8-2
Upon arriving at GFS today, we witnessed the entire team repairing the windscreens torn away from Thursday's wind and rainstorm. Strong winds prevailed during our match and caused the pool from an adjacent apartment complex to spill over into the GFS courts! Now THAT"S windy!
Really, the main player on the courts was the wind. With the wind blustery and swirling at will, all players had to deal with its fury today. So, this great equalizer of nature made for some very interesting points, to say the least.
Co-captain Kate faced her opponent for the second year in a row, a calculating player who carefully returned balls both long and short, dropping just out of reach of Kate's racket. There were numerous skillful rallies from both girls on court #3, in particular, Kate's occasional high forehands which allowed the wind to send them a bit off course, but still into the court. Her opponent showed aplomb in managing the wind and chasing down Kate's responses. Still, Kate topped her match from last year, when this opponent bageled her. Good show, Kate!
Susanne too, gave it her all despite the crazy wind. Susanne's opponent possessed a terrific forehand crosscourt shot and kept her strokes deep, causing Susanne to run left to right behind the baseline. But that's exactly what Susanne does so well! It was a running fest for quite a few points as Susanne stepped on the gas and hunted down ball after ball, sending it back into the naughty wind. The scores don't tell the whole story, but believe me when I say that Susanne was no slouch on the GFS court. She should be proud of her countless saved points. This was a fun match to watch.
Next door, in a whirlwind of a battle, Maya dominated after a close first set. With Maya ahead at 4-2, her opponent began to gain momentum when suddenly Maya was reaching for another game, now leading at only 5-4. Nerves played fiercely on the GFS player and the wind was unkind as well, allowing Maya to earn her first set at 6-4. The second set was more exciting, despite the apparently one-sided score. Super rallies were bested by even more nailing-bit ones, leaving the spectators to gasp at a few apparently unreachable balls. Both girls were faster than today's wind and both were able to cleverly deal with drop shots, angles, speed, and spin. The fans were treated to a smorgasbord of shot selections today, as the players found themselves teased by the strong gusts and excellent competition on both sides. What a match, Maya! Congratulations!
Our exhibition doubles became an exhibition singles as Kate Levesque graciously accepted the challenge of a singles match. She dominated from the start: calm, cool and collected while her opponent worked hard to keep up with both Kate and the swirling, unpredictable wind. It was fun watching Kate change the pace and the arc of the ball, letting nature do the rest. This was Kate's first singles match in a long time and she held a commanding lead throughout the 8 game pro set, finishing strong at 8-2. You were awesome, Kate!!

First Doubles

First doubles was probably the most evenly matched of the day. The teams traded games throughout the first set as the girls on both sides of the net tried to adjust their approach to the strong winds. GFS seemed to figure out the wind sooner and took the first set 6-4. Not to be deterred, Arshi and Phoebe drew up a new game plan. They realized that each side of the court would require a different style of play, one allowing for full strokes and the other demanding precision placement. Their efforts paid off in the second, taking the set 6-4 and forcing a third set. While the Cougars dialed up their game, so too the Tigers dug deep in the third. While the final set was 6-1 in favor of GFS, the score belies the story of the match. Each point was hard-fought with long rallies and excellent net play. A few bounces here or there and the outcome could have been very different. Overall an excellent effort.

 

Second Doubles

The second doubles match was as wild as the wind whipping across the court. An early injury in the first game put the Cougars on their heels, dropping the first four games. Not willing to go down without a fight, Grace and Carol dug deep and found a way to win the next six games and the first set, 6-4. Unfortunately, the Tigers changed their play and figured out how to use the wind to their advantage taking the second set 6-2. After moving the match to another court to avoid the overspray from the pool next door, the GFS duo continued their strong play and overpowered our girls with another 6-2 set and the victory. Given the phenomenal comeback in the first and very strong play throughout the match, the girls should feel very good with their effort today. We’ll get ‘em next time.

All players threw themselves into their matches and we left with our heads held high. This is the first time in quite a while that GS came so close vs. GFS on more than one court. Until the final half-hour, the match could have gone either way. Thank you to GFS for a fine day - can't wait for our next meeting, minus the wind!

George School @ Calvary Christian Academy

Monday, October 7, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Win 6-1
GS 6 (record to date 4-5; FSL record 2-1)
Calvary Christian Academy 1 (record to date 0-6)
Eight-game pro sets, due to lack of a sufficient number of tennis courts and possible rain.
1 GS Maya Kowalska def. CCA Amanda Shiley 8-0
2 GS Susanne Kowalska def. CCA Lane Winterstela 8-0
3 CCA /McKenzie Holmes def. GS Kate Lyden 9-7
4 GS Annika Crawford def. CCA Abby Steenbakkers 8-2
1 GS Arshi Nagra / Phoebe Johnson def. CCA Anjali Joy / Chloe Ehrgott 8-1
2 GS Grace Song / Carol Lu def. CCA Joli Morais / Soniyah Youngblood 8-0
3 GS Kate Levesque / Neha Kotha def. CAA Shalini / Lauren 8-1

George School @ Moorestown Friends School

Thursday, October 10, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Loss 0-5

MFS 5 record to date? (6-0 in Friends School League)

GS 0 record to date 4-6 (3-3 in Friends School League)

 

1 MFS Bella Pescatore def. GS Maya Kowalska 6-3, 6-7 (TB 4-7), 3rd set TB 10-7

2 MFS Lisa Seiler def. GS Susanne Kowalska 6-2, 6-2

3 MFS Julia Tourtellotie def. GS Kate Lyden 3-6, 6-2 3rd set TB 10-8

 

1 MFS Skye Mada / Natalie Julian def. GS Arshi Nagra / Phoebe Johnson 6-0, 6-0

2 MFS Jamine Phillips / Bailey Butterworth def. GS Grace Song / Carol Lu 6-2, 6-3

 

A rare Thursday match found the Varsity Girls’ Tennis Team traveling to Moorestown Friends School for our 6th Friends School League match. Facing the 2018 NJ State Champs is always a challenge and we knew today would be no different. That being said, the team went into the match with positivity and thoughts about an upset.

 

Maya put on another strong showing at first singles, forcing a third-set super tiebreaker against a very strong MFS opponent. While her opponent took the first set 6-3, the score does not reflect how close the match really was. With long rallies of hard-hitting groundstrokes, the girls moved each other side to side, forcing each other to hit precision winners to take the point. While the MFS player may have had a slightly stronger serve, Maya handled the pace exceptionally well, sending her returns deep to the baseline. The second set saw the player's trade games with Maya coming out ahead in a set tiebreaker. Because the team match had been decided already, the girls played a 10-point tiebreaker in lieu of a third set. Like the first two sets, the tiebreaker was a series of tremendous baseline rallies. In the end, MFS was just too strong and took the match, but Maya should feel really good about her efforts today.

 

At second singles, Susanne faced a difficult opponent sporting a powerful serve and consistent groundstrokes. While the pace of her serve was impressive, Susanne hung in on every point and hit some excellent returns. Much like Maya’s first set, Susanne’s match was certainly closer than what the score would indicate. While she was only able to take two games in each set, Susanne played very well and a bounce here or there and she could have been in it. Overall, Susanne did a great job today, showing a great deal of grit in facing her powerful opponent.

 

Kate played the match of the day for GS at the third singles position. Facing a wily lefty who was able to get to just about everything, Kate needed to play a smart match, moving her opponent around the court. She did an excellent job of changing the pace, bringing the MFS player to the net and then placing a lob or passing shot just out of reach. Kate took the first set 6-3 and looked to be on her way to winning one for GS. Unfortunately, Kate’s opponent adjusted her game and was able to counter Kate’s game plan, winning the second 6-2. Like the first singles’ match, the girls played a 10-point tiebreaker to decide the winner. While Kate put up a great fight, her opponent came out on top 10-8.  Despite the loss, Kate showed a great deal of determination out there today.

 

Arshi and Phoebe faced a very talented duo today at first doubles. While the girls struggled to handle the strong play of the MFS players, they did make some excellent shots and tried a number of different strategies to foil their opponents. There were several points that combined long corner to corner rallies with decisive winning volleys. The point of the day included multiple volleys, drop shots and quick reaction times. While the score (6-0, 6-0) was certainly not what they were hoping for, Phoebe and Arshi had several highlights that they can build on in tomorrow’s match.

 

Rounding out the match were Carol and Grace at the second doubles position. The girls had some difficulty getting their shots to find the lines, dropping four of the first five games. They did settle down a bit and were able to take another game before giving up the first set 2-6. Not willing to just roll over, the Cougar duo pushed the second set to 3-4 and it looked like they might be able to push the match to a third set. Unfortunately for us, one of the MFS players found her serve, hitting back to back aces and finishing off the match 3-6.

George School vs Stuart Country Day School

Friday, October 11, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Win 5-0
Home Directions To George School

1.       GS Maya Kowalska def. SCDS Anna Dawson 6-1, 6-1

2.      GS Susanne Kowalska def. SCDS Allison Tarbatton 6-4, 6-2

3.      GS Kate Lyden def. SCDS Mia Szabo 6-3, 6-1

1.       GS Phoebe Johnson/Arshi Nagra def. SCDS 6-3, 7-5

2.      GS Grace Song/Carol Lu def SCDS Holly Zhuang/Wendy Wang 6-7 (TB 4-7), 6-1, Set TB 10-6

It was a beautiful day for tennis today and the Cougars came to play.

Maya continued her strong play today, demonstrating patience and resolve against an opponent who was able to draw out points with her solid groundstrokes and consistent serve. While many of the games went to deuce, Maya was able to take advantage when it counted, changing the pace and throwing off the Stuart girl’s timing.  Although Maya won the first set 6-1, she felt she wasn’t playing her game. At the changeover, something seemed to click, and she started to power the ball down the lines, forcing her opponent back on her heels. The change made for a relatively quick second set and the first win of the day for GS. Nice work, Maya.

At second singles, Susanne faced a solid player with a great deal of quickness and an uncanny ability to run down seeming winners. The first set was very close with the girls trading games early on. Several points seemed to go on forever with each girl making spectacular half volleys, running down lobs and finally hitting winners. After the 7th game, Susanne began to attack the ball more and hit some beautiful deep balls into the corners. Her new game plan paid off and she took the first set 6-4. Riding a wave of confidence, Susanne took the game to her opponent, winning the second set with relative ease. Her win clinched the match and gave our doubles teams some breathing room. Way to go, Susanne!

Kate played a terrific match today at the third singles position. Early on, the match was close with several long baseline rallies and some well-placed shots. As she often does, Kate was able to take the first set 6-3. Between the sets, Kate thought about what worked and realized it was important to keep her opponent on the move. With a consistent serve and control of the pace, Kate was able to sail to a 6-1 win in the second set, taking the second match of the day. Awesome job, Kate!

Phoebe and Arshi had another strong showing at first doubles, taking the match in straight sets. In the first set, the Cougars found their games to be a little off with some of their shots sailing long or finding the net. Despite some early issues, the girls found their groundstrokes and volleys and were able to take the first set 6-3. In the second, the GS duo got off to a quick start, showing remarkable reaction times at the net. It looked like the match would be concluded quickly, but the Stuart girls had other ideas. While the Tartans put up a good fight, Arshi and Phoebe were not going to let this match slip away. Under pressure, they both stepped up and took the second set 7-5. What a great effort!

Grace and Carol had the match of the day at second doubles. The Cougars faced a pair of hard-hitting players who were not afraid to step up to the net and take control of the play. While the girls stayed in the first set with solid service returns, they were unable to take the first set, dropping the tiebreaker 4-7. This only proved to fuel the girl’s drive to win the second, which they did in fine fashion 6-1. The highlight point of the match saw Grace run down a wide return and then Carol punish the Stewart team with a powerful overhead slam. Because the team match had already been determined, they played a 10-point tiebreaker to decide their match. Stuart went up early in the tiebreaker, but Grace and Carol found a way to string together a number of excellent shots to take the third set and the match. This was a hard-fought match and the girls should feel great about their efforts.

We will return to the courts on Tuesday as we travel to Friends Central for the second to last FSL regular-season match.

George School @ Friends’ Central School

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Loss 1-4

Maya (first singles) and her opponent began long, hard exchanges from the very start and to watch occasionally from afar, you'd think that the match was even Steven. They both used their prowess to drive the balls deep and wide, sometimes dropping them short and low. A fun match to watch, the girls kept at it at a record pace, and Maya kept coming out on top, directing most of the traffic on the court. Her pace and precision were too much to handle for the FCS player, one of the most sportsmanlike players that Maya has faced to date. Congratulations, Maya, for an almost flawless show!

Kate at third singles worked hard to find weak areas in her opponent's game. The FCS player ran down most balls easily as Kate kept up her strategy of moving the player around, changing pace and keeping the ball in play. The accuracy and clever drop balls of the FCS player were too much to handle today, despite the numerous long exchanges that Kate and her opponent enjoyed on the court. The score does not accurately reflect the amount of work produced on court #3. Great effort, Kate!

Court #2 was home to Susanne and her opponent for 90 minutes. Beginning with a struggle to find her rhythm and continuing with shaky serves and netted balls, Susanne fought nonetheless to stay in the game. The first set score seems one-sided, but both girls hit many, many balls to complete the six games.

At exhibition singles, Neha played one set today, bowing to her opponent at 3-6. The rallies were mostly dominated by the FCS player, but Neha got her racket on many balls today, respectfully earning three games, the best set of any of the singles players who did not win today. Good playing, Neha!

1st Doubles:

Although the first doubles team of Arshi and Phoebe were not able to come away with a win today, their match was extremely entertaining to watch, and they should feel really good about their play. In the first set, the Cougars got out to an early lead and it looked like they had the match well in hand. Unfortunately, the FCS duo proved to be relentless in their ability to run down shots and keep the points alive. Most of the rallies included a string of deep groundstrokes and lobs, followed by rapid volleys and even an overhead or two. The points were long, and the match would come down to the team that made the least unforced errors. After a heartbreaking loss in the first set 5-7, the girls regrouped and came out with every intention of forcing this to a three-set match. Once again, they took an early lead, but the net play and consistent serving of the FCS girls were just a bit too much and the girls dropped the second 4-6. Despite the loss, it was a great match.

2nd Doubles:

Grace and Carol certainly had their hands full today at second doubles. While they both played very well, they faced a couple of hard-hitting FCS players. From the opening game, the girls were forced back on their heels, playing defensively to stay in the points. To their credit, they both hit some excellent shots with Grace showing grit at the net and Carol continuing to hit her patented cross-court forehand deep into their opponent’s doubles alley. In the end, however, the FCS duo had too many weapons and, despite several adjustments, our girls could not seem to catch a break.

 

FCS 4    record to date overall  9-1

GS 1      record to date 4-7 (3-4 in Friends School League)

 

1 GS Maya Kowalska '23 def. FCS Grace Decater 6-0, 6-1

2 FCS Anna Volpp def. GS Susanne Kowalska '21 6-0, 6-2

3 FCS Sally Su def. GS Kate Lyden '20 6-0, 6-2

 

1 FCS Thea Volpp / Emma Malone def. GS Arshi Nagra '22 / Phoebe Johnson '20 7-5, 6-4

2 FCS Hannah Rossio / Hallie Bender def. GS Grace Song '21 / Carol Lu '21 6-0, 6-1

 

George School @ Friends Select School

Friday, October 18, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Win 5-0

At third singles, Kate came out focused and determined to take both sets of the last FSL match of her career. She jumped ahead right away at 3-0, when her opponent woke up and began to put together a respectable defense, resulting in an even set at mid point. "Enough," said Kate, as she went on to finish 6-3. Set #2 was actually a long set with both players responding well to ball placement and the wind. Kate's deep groundstrokes helped keep the FSS player at bay as Kate made numerous approaches to the net. Kate should be proud of her efforts today with this solid match. Way to finish, Kate!!

A real battle of the siblings took place at second and first singles today, since both were sister teams! Both Susanne and Maya faced twins whose games, ironically, couldn't have been less identical. While at first glance Susanne's opponent possessed a formidable array of groundstrokes and canon-paced serves, the FSS player struggled to keep the ball in the court. Within moments, Susanne was up 5-0. This having been said, Susanne did need to pull out some pretty fine gymnastic stunts to get her racket on the zippy balls that came her way. This match was the perfect one for a player like Susanne, who never fades in the face of heavy pace. The second set treated the audience to longer points, more thoughtfully constructed offensive plays and an overall better set for the talented FSS player. Susanne was too much, however, for she too, upped her game and walked off proudly after allowing three games total. What a great belated birthday present for Susanne!

The highlight match of the day was on the stadium court where Maya and her opponent fought hard for each point. After two initial games of quick adjustments for the FSL player resulting in a 2-0 cushion for Maya, the FSL player sprung into action, stringing together four games in a row. At 2-4, Maya needed to do more and the battle really began here. Deep strokes, high bouncers followed by well-executed slice from both girls, and Maya's occasional approaches to the net made the remainder of this match a real smorgasbord of shots. For the duration of the match, the spectators could not tell who was winning each game, the skill level was so even. While the first set went to the FSL player and frustrated Maya, this only ignited her to pick up her game that much more in the second. And she did. A quick 4-1 lead in set #2 saw the FSL player dig in her heels and reply with more precision, but Maya prevailed to even the match at two sets all. GS had just won the overall match with the first doubles win (thank you, Phoebe and Arshi), so Maya and her opponent were not required to play a full third set, but rather a super tiebreak of first to 10 points with margin of two. The girls traded excellent points the entire way, both closing in on the prize. At 9-8, the FSS player double-faulted, allowing Maya back into the match. Maya went on to win the final two points, ending on a close line call.

First Doubles

Arshi and Phoebe found their match to be a little more of a challenge than they expected. At their last meeting at the FSL Invitational, the Cougar duo dominated, blanking the FSS girls. Today, they found a much-improved team that were ready to put up a fight. Throughout the match, the teams traded points, going to deuce in almost every game. Several of the points went on and on with both teams running down seeming winners. While they struggled a bit with the wind and some very good shots by their opponents, the Cougars put together several excellent points both at the baseline and the net. The girls were able to win consecutive games, breaking the pattern, and taking each set (6-4, 6-3).  Way to go, Pheobe and Arshi.

Second Doubles

Carol and Grace took control of the match from the first couple of games and didn’t look back. Both of their serves were dialed-in today and several points were won within the first or second shot. Carol continued to be a dominant presence at the net and Grace’s groundstrokes were powerful and well-placed. In addition, the girls did an excellent job communicating, whether switching sides on a lob or deciding when to poach. It was really fun watching their match and they should feel really good about their 6-1, 6-0 victory. What a great way to go into the final week of the season!

Today's match was a super finish to an FSL season full of ups and downs, but resulting in a respectable 4-4 overall record. We look forward to our last two matches next week. Please come out and support as our girls show their stuff on Tuesday at Pennington and Thursday home vs. Hun.

GS  5    record to date 5-7 (4-4 in Friends School League)
FSS 0
1 GS Maya Kowalska def. FSS  Amelia Squires 4-6, 6-3 Super TB 11-9
2  GS Susanne Kowalska def. FSS  Madeleine Squieres 6-0, 6-3
3 Kate Lyden def. FSS Tal Leznik 6-3, 6-2
1 GS Arshi Nagra / Phoebe Johnson def. FSS Yianna Leisher / Sophie Saint-Cyn  6-4, 6-3
2 GS Grace Song / Carol Lu def. FSS AleShapiro / May  6-1, 6-0

George School @ The Pennington School

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Canceled

George School vs. The Hun School of Princeton

Thursday, October 24, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Loss 1-4
Home Directions To George School
HUN 4    record to date overall  8-4
GS 1         season record 6-8 (4-4 in Friends School League)
* see season record details below
1 GS Maya Kowalska def. HUN Amanda Francis 6-0, 6-2
2 HUN Sophia Lin def. GS Susanne Kowalska 6-1, 6-1
3 HUN Jackie Drozd def. GS Kate Lyden 6-0, 6-0
1 HUN Alexis English / Mahika Chadra def. GS Arshi Nagra / Abby Silver 6-2, 6-1
2 HUN Ellie Perosi / Sabrina Wong def. GS Grace Song / Neha Kotha 6-1, 6-0
GS season wins and losses 2019 season:
wins vs.: 
WS 3-2
ANC 4-1
AFS 5-0
CCS 6-1
Stuart 5-0
FSS 5-0
GS won 28/32 total team points
losses vs.: 
PDS 2-3
Peddie 2-5
Perk. 2-3
SS 1-4
GFS 1-4
MFS 0-5
FCS 1-4
HUN 1-4
GS won 10/42 total team points
 
GS won 38/74 total team points (51%)

FSL Semi-Finals

Saturday, October 26, 2019 @ 2:00 p.m.
-

FSL Finals

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 @ 2:15 p.m.
-

Varsity Girls Tennis Seasons