GIRLS TENNIS Greenwich continues strong start with sweep
GREENWICH — The Greenwich High School girls tennis team is on a familiar pace six matches into its season and that’s tough news for the opposition.
With their doubles teams progressing nicely and their singles players excelling, the Cardinals seem to be headed near the top of the FCIAC where elite squads such as Staples and Darien have been the past several seasons.
Winning each match in straight sets, Greenwich added another convincing win to its ledger Thursday, sweeping visiting Ridgefield, 7-0, in a matchup of 4-1 teams.
Sophomore Nathalie Williams continued to flourish in her first season as a member of the Cardinals. Williams was off the court first, defeating Tigers sophomore Megan Dunphy, 6-0, 6-0. Using her well-executed groundstrokes, Williams dictated the majority of the points.
“Our singles lineup is super good,” Williams said. “We have all been practicing together, which has helped us improve. It’s also helped us build team spirit.”
Off the court last was the Cardinals’ No. 1 doubles team of juniors Amy Bickham and Yui Inagawa. Greenwich’s top duo was victorious against Ridgefield senior Jillian O’Keefe and junior Phoebe Seidenberg, 6-2, 7-6 (3).
“They are developing as a doubles team in front of my eyes,” GHS coach Betsy Underhill said. “If they can cut down on their unforced errors they will be a phenomenal team. They are pulling out some close matches, which is good to see, and they are working better together.”
The No. 1 doubles match was one of the most competitive matches of the day, as it last almost two hours.
“Our No. 1 doubles are a strong team,” Tigers coach Adam Moskowitz said. “Jill, a senior, is carrying along Phoebe, a junior, and they are doing great. They never get down, they’ll laugh their way through victories.”
Senior co-captain Martine Fierro of Greenwich was a 6-0, 6-0 winner against freshman Natalia Roseff at the No. 1 singles spot. Fierro took control in the first set by converting a break point early on.
“I’ve been playing better matches against people I played in the past, which I’m really happy about,” Fierro said. “It shows me I am a better player than last season.”
Up next for the Cardinals is a big challenge against defending FCIAC and Class L champion Staples.
“I am definitely excited to play Staples, I went to three sets twice against Staples last year,” Fierro said. “It will be fun to see her again. I couldn’t be happier with how our singles players are doing. Natalie has been a huge addition for us and Kendall and Christina have been playing some great matches.”
Christina Gianesello improved to 6-0 on the season at third singles, topping sophomore Isabel Voellmicke by a 6-3, 6-0 score.
“I was having trouble with my serve at first, I wasn’t in the zone,” Gianesello said. “I got my head back into it and I was able to stay consistent. Everyone on our team is playing their position well, as they are getting to know each other. We are definitely improving a lot.”
Junior Kendall Schrohe notched an impressive 6-1, 6-0 triumph Ridgefield’s Tara Ford at the No. 4 singles position.
“I am happy with our singles lineup,” Underhill said. “Christina is undefeated, Martine has had great matches, Natalie is off the court quickly each match and Kendall is doing great at No. 4.”
In doubles action, Hannah Viney/Abby Shrophshire continued to show a winning chemistry at the second spot, taking their match6-4, 6-0. Catherine Daye/Rachael Karetsky won their match at No. 3 for GHS, 6-2, 6-1.
“Our No. 2 team played together at No. 3 last year and they are pulling out some good matches,” Underhill said. “Our No. 3 team has won some good three-set matches so far this season and are continuing to improve.”