Levenson's 3rd-set victory catapults Staples girls tennis past Ludlowe
Updated 12:26 am, Friday, April 29, 2011
Waiting three weeks to complete a victory seems like an eternity but in the end, it's still sweet.
This describes the Staples girls tennis team's 4-3 home victory over Fairfield Ludlowe Wednesday in a match that started April 6. Staples, who raised its record to 8-0, led 3-2 when the match was suspended because of rain, dropped Ludlowe to 5-3.
"We tried to reschedule earlier but when the bad weather hit us, we couldn't do anything about it," said Lady Wreckers Coach Amanda Giudice, who ironically made her coaching debut when the match started. "In the end, we were able to pull through and maintain our undefeated record."
Originally, the match was rescheduled to continue April 8 but one of the players involved in the suspended matches had a college visit originally scheduled for that day. The second attempt of rescheduling it was April 13 but Mother Nature had other ideas. Last week was vacation and no tennis matches could have been scheduled after April 19.
"It's the longest gap between the start and finish of a match in my 13 years as coach," Ludlowe Coach John Reisert said.
"After the three-week period, I was able to come back with a fresh start," Levenson said. "I was more patient and waited for the right time to hit more aggressive shots."
When the rains came down three weeks ago to suspend the match, it appeared as if Quinn had the momentum because of her strong play in second set.
"We would have loved to continue the match that day," Reisert said. "Kendall had the momentum and the three-week wait affected her more than Farrel. Kendall had consistency issues and Farrel's strength is consistent. They waited it out and didn't mind 15-20 shot rallies."
Although Levenson lost the second set, it didn't mean she was going to lose the third set that day. In fact, many tennis players have won the third set after losing the second one.
"I have no idea what would have happened," Levenson said. "Logically, she had the momentum but I could have turned things around [three weeks ago]."
Although the final score of the deciding set was 6-0, it was a lot closer than the blanking would indicate. All six games were close and almost all of them -- if not all six -- were at deuce.
In fact, Levenson faced ad-out in two of three games she served. However, she forced Quinn to hit it out to escape one deuce that led to her taking a 4-0 lead and in the final game, induced Quinn to hit the net for a deuce before clinching the overall match.
"If you think about it, all the pressure is on the girl who has the ad-out because she needs to close out the point," Levenson said. "You go in knowing you're the underdog and try to bring it back to deuce."
Levenson then wrapped up both games by forcing two more errors in each of them. While dealing with ad-in, including match point, she was able to remain calm.
"You focus and think about hitting the ball over the net one more time," Levenson said.
Searight and Boyd didn't waste time finishing the first set but were locked in a dogfight in the second set. Staples led 2-1 in the second set after the southpaw Stamm held serve and slammed home a winner.
However, Searight and Boyd hit winners as well and served well in winning four straight games to take a commanding 5-2 lead.
Collins and Stamm came back to make it 5-4 but Boyd held serve in the final game and closed it out for a 6-3, 6-4 victory.
"Talent, confidence and Farrel won it for us," Giudice said. "The [third] doubles [team] had strong hits and remained confident despite being down.
Before the match was suspended, the Lady Wreckers won at first, second and third singles while Ludlowe won at first and second doubles.
"I played her many times before and she [McAndrew] played well," Reiner said. "I tried to use what I knew about her to my advantage, stay focused and ignore the win. She had a good serve, I kept my eye on the ball and was in the ready position."
Freshman Melissa Beretta made a successful varsity debut at second singles for the Lady Wreckers in a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Daria Effimov.
"It's so exciting and I love being on the team," Beretta said. "I was nervous because it was my first high school match but my team helped me get through it."
Staples senior tri-captain Molly Rudinger was dominant in a 6-1, 6-1 victory over junior Morgan Hilliker at third singles.
"It was the first match of the season and I wanted to stay consistent," Rudinger said. "I tried new things and I was using angles."
"Obviously, waiting was nerve-racking, but Farrel's win was a big one for us and kept our record up," Rudinger said.
Levinson said, "We're excited because Ludlowe is a good team and it gives us confidence for [today's] match at Greenwich."