Girls’ Tennis wins 3-2 in opening of Gordon R. Wright Tennis Complex

Edwin Sam

By Edwin Sam ’13, Sports Section Editor

Throughout the summer, noisy drills were humming and sturdy hammers were banging in preparation for the new courts that would host a grueling 2012 Girls’ tennis season. In the opening match of Gordon R. Wright Tennis Complex, the extremely balanced and talented tennis squad defeated Seven Hills 3-2 in a difficult and stressful match filled with drama, sickness, and lots of deuces.

Led by first singles star and state final-four four finisher Danielle Wolf ‘15, the first singles, third singles, and second doubles players each triumphed over their Stingers opponents.

In the second doubles match, featuring Meg Lazarus, ’13, and Amelia Drew, ’13, the Indians won by a decisive score of 6-1, 6-2. As Lazarus mentioned, “We went into deuce a lot, and it was more intense than everyone thought it would be.”

The composure of the two experienced seniors proved crucial, as the outcome of the match might have been different had they not stayed calm and performed in deuce situations.

Lazarus found the pair’s advantage a result of their “energy and having a positive attitude going into it.”

The first doubles team of Katie Barton, ’14, and Mackenzie Patterson, ’15, showed heart, enthusiasm, and intelligence in their match, but unfortunately missed their desired result. Though Barton and Patterson finished the first set 6-2, they began the second set with fire, making the match much more interesting. In a volatile, back-and-forth second set, the duo brought the score of the set to 3-4. Unfortunately the last two games ended with a loss of 6-3.

When asked what their strengths in the second set were, Barton said “When we were playing well, we helped pump each other up, get in the game, and figure out their weaknesses.” As Barton also admitted, the pressure of playing a conference rival in front of many fans on the opening day for the new courts affected the pair and rattled their focus at times.

Starring in the third singles match, Allison Mesh, ’13, easily swept the first set 6-0 and the second 6-4. Mesh’s strong serve proved to be her biggest advantage during the first set, using it to blowout her opponent early in the match. However, Mesh said that in the second set, her “serve started to get weaker and weaker because [she] was tossing the ball the wrong way.”

Her weakened serve form and her counterpart’s energy and movement presented problems for Mesh. “My opponent had great movement and was great at touching every ball. She would get to every ball no matter where on the court it was.”

Plagued with sickness that kept her reaching her full potential, Caroline Blackburn, ‘13 fell, 6-3, 6-0. Though the scoreboard did not show it, Blackburn evinced her dedication to the team by finishing the match despite her illness, motivating the rest of the team to play with just as much heart.

Finally, in the first singles match, ace Danielle Wolf handily crushed her opponent 6-0, 6-0 continuing the strong form she showed her freshman year. Though she admitted that her adversary “had a really good ball and played some really good points,” Wolf was nonetheless able to “overpower her quite a bit.”

The girls agreed that they will need to improve certain areas of their game as they move on to compete against stronger teams later in the year. Barton, Wolf, and Lazarus all resonated that the team needed to work on encouraging each other during very tense matches. Lazarus said the team as a whole needs “to crush [opponents] in the beginning instead of letting the first few points slip.”

With expectations higher than ever, the Indians will look to protect their home court advantage at the new complex. The intimidating squad will rely on the experience and strong leadership skills of its upperclassmen to lead the team to post-season success.