Scituate girls win showdown

Scituate girls win showdown

By KAYLA PANU

Breeze Sports Writer

kayla@valleybreeze.com

As the number three doubles match wrapped up, Coventry had tied Scituate, 3-3, and it all went down to the last girls on the court, the second doubles team last week, as the sun set and the lights came on. First place was up for grabs in Division III-West high school varsity girls' tennis while Scituate's undefeated streak was on the line.

After a stressful third set, the Scituate second doubles team of Holly Swanson and Vanessa Christiansen came out victorious, 6-2 to give Scituate the 4-3 team win.

"I'm so proud," Scituate head coach Tara Marchant said. "They fought, really fought and earned this (win)."

Jenna DeFrancisco and her teammate Giselle Dion of the third doubles team tried to keep up their momentum after taking the first set 6-0 as Scituate held the 3-2 lead. But Coventry's Sydney Cardoza and Sarah Greene came back strong in the second set to force a third as the sun started to go down.

While they were playing so were the second doubles team of Swanson and Christiansen on court two. They were locked in a dead heat in the first set against Lisa Thiele and Jessica Horibin. When they had started the sun was still producing a summer-like warmth. The match outlasted the sun.

Scituate had the 5-4 lead before Coventry won the next two games. Scituate tied it up 6-6 to force a tiebreaker round. Ten serves were taken and Coventry took the 7-3 win for the 7-6 set win.

The second set was as close as the first as Scituate started to fade in third doubles. With every point won, the Scituate crowd grew louder and louder for both doubles teams still playing. In the second doubles game they were separated by one game but Scituate was able to go up by two when it counted most to win the second set 6-4.

While they took a short break and moved on to the final set, the third doubles team were in their final set and Coventry was up 5-0. Dion and DeFrancisco game back to win a game but Coventry took the 6-1 win to tie the score at three matches apiece.

All eyes were on second doubles on court two. Scituate took the first two games as night was upon them. On Scituate's second serve, Thiele and Horibin were able to get ahead and steal the win. With encouragement from the crowd to shake it off, Swanson and Christiansen refocused and took Coventry's serve. The point was won on a nice maneuver from Christiansen.

As Scituate inched away from Coventry, the Spartans got more animated after each point. Swanson and Christiansen got to match point on their serve but Thiele and Horibin made things interesting going ahead 15-30 and then eventually taking the point.

As Coventry began their serve the nervous energy was infectious as both team coaches were on the court as line judges. Thiele and Horibin scored one point to tie it but Scituate won the next two to take the match 6-2 and the game 4-3.

"I believed in them the whole time," Marchant said. "I knew they could do it. They never give up."

The only two easily decided matches of the day came in first doubles and fourth singles. Emily Jodoin at fourth singles finished first for Scituate and with a win 6-1, 6-1. Coventry took first doubles 6-0, 6-3.

Jackie Youngdahl at second singles had to battle her Coventry opponent, Brenna McKaig, but won both her sets, 6-4, 6-2. The number one singles also went to two sets but lasted way longer than Youngdahl's game. Jade Annaldo of Scituate battled Abby James from Coventry. The first set played on court one in the direct sunlight went to a tiebreaker. James won 7-6 (7-5). She had an easier time in the second set as Annaldo lost some steam. James went up 3-0 before Annaldo fought back to tie it up but James was just stronger to take the 6-3 win.

The longest singles match was in the number three slot between Leah McCarvill, Scituate and Jamie Trautman, Coventry. McCarvill won the first set 6-3 but lost the second one 2-6 to force a third. It was a close matchup but McCarvill kept her cool coming from behind 4-3 to overtake Trautman. She won on a fault to take the third set 6-4.

"The highest stress match is always Coventry," Marchant said. "I know it's going to be a good match. They (Coventry) have a great team"

The narrow victory gave Coventry its second loss to give them a record of 7-2. The Oakers then defeated Hope to get to eight wins. Scituate on the other hand remained undefeated and after its win Tuesday at Pilgrim, the Spartans have a 10-0 record. IN their first meeting against Coventry this season, the Lady Spartans also won a 4-3 decision.

"They work hard," Marchant said.

Marchant is in her first season as the head coach and to her knowledge, this is the first time the Spartans have been undefeated so far into the season. The Scituate girls took on Central later in the week and blasted the Knights, 7-0, with Central unable to take one set.

Smithfield High slipped past Moses Brown, 4-3 in a Division I-Met B match last week.

Posting wins for the Lady Sentinels were Evelyn Miller at first singles, Gabriella Baffoni at third singles, Juliana Romeo at fourth singles and the first doubles team of Isabella Romeo and Kyla DelGallo.

Romeo and DelGallo broke a 3-3 tie when they took their close match, 6-7(9), 7-5, 7-5 over Maddi Gergi and Margot Creamer. The win moved Smithfield to 8-2 for the season. They are scheduled to wrap up their regular season this week with matches against Prout and La Salle Academy.

Ponaganset took on once beaten Narragansett last week and suffered a 7-0 setback to fall to 4-5 in Division II. The Lady Chieftains were scheduled to conclude their regular season this week with matches against Westerly, East Providence and Portsmouth.