Sunday, September 20, 2015

Doubles Troubles Versus Wheaton College

Smith Tennis has yet to find the right combinations and strategies in doubles play as they bowed to Wheaton 2-7 in the dual match at Norton, MA Saturday, September 19.  Their singles play, however, is another story and one worthy of telling.

Margaret Anne Smith
The Pioneers were on the road for the first time against the Lyons having worked on doubles the week before.  In spite of the doubles focus and new combinations, the Wheaton team did not let Smith get a win in the doubles and led the match 3-0 as the singles started.  The excitement began with the singles.  Janan Fugel sprained her ankle in doubles play but garnered strength and determination to step out on the singles court at fourth singles.  She bravely held her position but not the win and the Pioneers now found themselves down 0-4.  As dismal as that seemed, the Smith team showed their fortitude by taking all five remaining singles matches to three sets.  "Effort" was the word of the day and Smith Tennis showed extreme effort even with their backs against the wall.  The match remained in the balance until Noa Dubin finally succumbed to Amanda Brazell 6-2, 0-6, 1-6 in a aggressively played match.   Noa clearly dominated in the first set moving Amanda from corner to corner, hitting excellent finishing shots.  Amanda is a fighter and she came to net, used her "save" slice and managed to get a foot-hold taking the second and third sets.  Samantha Peikes, at number 2 singles fought hard for sets two and three after breezing through the first set 6-0 but she could not regain the momentum and lost 6-0, 2-6, (8-10).  Margaret Anne Smith upheld Smith honor by losing a close first set and strategically evaluating the situation and taking away her opponent's strength to claim the second set and third set tiebreaker. (4-6, 6-4, 10-6).  Morgan Barney followed suit by dropping set one and rallying to claim sets two and three for the win at fifth singles.  Morgan's consistency and hustle disarmed her opponent as Morgan took control of the second and third sets!  Joanna Kim came close to providing another point for Smith, never giving up but succumbing in the end 4-6, 6-2, (7-10).  Three points only separated Joanna from the win but she showed her competitive spirit and her strong shot selection throughout the match and she remains a player to watch in the future.  Dana Smith anchored the singles in exhibition play showing her calm consistent side.  Although she was not able to win, she continues to add elements to her game whenever she competes.  Our most exuberant team member, Faith Flowers, stayed on the sideline this match nursing an injury but do not discredit her contribution to the team because it was huge on this Saturday.  She kept the team spirit high and the energy level with it.  She cheered and supported everyone everywhere.  It is difficult to know how she got to every court but it is surmised that her track background helps.  Faith keeps the team upbeat and her competitive positive nature is contagious.

Smith hosts rival, Mount Holyoke College, on Tuesday, September 22 at 5pm.  Come and cheer for the Pioneers!