Lady Trojan rackets slam Barlow in battle for 1st place
Updated 4:47 pm, Friday, May 13, 2011
All roads to SWC girls tennis supremacy goes through Weston.
The Weston girls tennis team cemented its stranglehold as the SWC favorite Tuesday with a 5-2 home win over Joel Barlow. The Lady Trojans raised their record to 12-1, 12-0 in the SWC. Barlow changed its lineup around and dropped to 12-1, 11-1.
"A 5-2 win against a team of Barlow's caliber is great and let's keep it going," Weston Coach Torr Terranova said. "We're not undefeated [overall] but we're undefeated in our conference and we're the top dog in the SWC. It was obvious at the introductions that Barlow didn't think it was going to win the match and virtually threw away one through four singles. There was a lot of creativity with what they did and nothing illegal about it and for us to come out with a 5-2 victory is big."
The Lady Falcons altered their lineup by switching a few singles and doubles players. Lady Trojan sophomore Kimmy Guerin is the defending State Open champion and defeated Barlow sophomore Alex Greenberg, who normally plays at first singles, 6-1, 6-0 last year in the SWC finals.
With Greenberg playing doubles, Guerin turned in a dominating performance by bageling freshman Ali Kudej, 6-0, 6-0. The defending State Open champion showed why she's ranked No. 2 in New England for 16 and under (she just turned 15 and the top-ranked player is 16) with her masterful serve. She served many aces with velocity, which left Kudej shell-shocked.
"I had a good serve today," Guerin said. "I practiced on it a lot and without the wind, it was easier to serve."
Guerin also had command of returns and slammed home many winners from the baseline and net past an overmatched Kudej.
"I put my shots where I needed to," Guerin said. "There's more of a weakness in her backhand than her forehand and I aimed for her backhand."
Weston senior Zoe Valella would play first singles for most teams and was at first singles sophomore year when Guerin was in eighth grade. But with the top singles player in the state on the team, Valella plays at second singles and against the Lady Falcons, she was in command in a 6-2, 6-0 victory over freshman Jessica Levine.
Valella slammed home many winners and forced errors.
"I think it was my footwork, which was on," Valella said. "I started out very well and I was smooth. I let up in the second set but I came back and it was good."
Lady Trojan junior Morgan Murray was consistent at third singles in a 6-1, 6-0 victory over freshman Alyssa Lyon. Murray had an effective serve and lob and came to net well in forcing Lyon into many hitting errors.
"I had a good warmup, which helped me have a really good day," Lyon said. "I played much better than I did in awhile."
Samson hit a crosscourt ground stroke for a winner and followed with an overhead forehand for a winner during Ashmore's serve to end a multi-deuce game to give Weston's captains a 3-2 lead in the first set.
However, Greenberg and Reyes were dominant with their serve, baseline play and net game and hit were especially effective with their lobs in the victory.
The closest match took place at second doubles. Lady Trojan senior Caroline Toutoungi and junior Jessy Gersh won the first set convincingly and took a 3-0 lead in the second set, but Barlow junior Adriana Maconochie and freshman Paige Twombly came back and took a 5-4 lead.
With both tandems taking turns winning games, the set went to a tiebreaker abd Barlow took a 5-1 lead in it. Weston cut it to 6-5 and had a chance to tie it but the match ended up going to a third set.
"I think we got too comfortable in the second set," Gersh said.
Terranova talked to them before the third set and they were ready to go.
"He just said to us to get more aggressive at net and to settle our minds," Toutoungi said. "We got too comfortable in the second set and we said to ourselves to forget about our errors and to start with a clean slate."
Weston's duo opened the third set with a 3-0 lead but Barlow came back and made it 3-2. Gersh then held serve with Toutoungi hitting well and they then broke the Lady Falcons to make it 5-2. Barlow came back to break the Lady Trojan duo but Toutoungi hit an overhead forehand slam to make it ad-out and Weston won the point, 6-2, 6-7 (7-6), 6-3.
"I think I got more aggressive," Toutoungi said. "I wanted to come back in the third set and hit it harder. It worked out for me."
Gersh said, "We set each other up well in the third set. It says a lot about our character because of the way we came back and pulled it together."
"The girls have worked our tails off all year," Terranova said. "They learned from the loss at Glastonbury [4-3 on April 7] and applied the lessons to this match."
Weston raised its record to 13-1 Wednesday in a 7-0 win at Masuk (8-6) with Guerin serving her third bagel of the week. Toutoungi and Gersh also bageled their opponent and Valella and Kravchenko came close to bageling their opponents and settled for 6-0, 6-1 victories. Murray won 6-3, 6-2, Ashmore and Samson triumphed 6-1, 6-2 and Glaser and junior Jennie Bear prevailed 6-1, 6-3 at third doubles.