Rusty Start After Spring Break for Girls Tennis

Andy McPherson
The Danes traveled to Memorial Park to take on St. Mary’s for the first away match of the season.  After over three weeks off, the Danes had to hit the ground running and shake the rust off quickly to prepare for St. Mary’s.  Unfortunately, the Danes fell 6-1, however, there were a lot of positives to take from the loss.

Isa Fernandez '21 lined up at the #1 singles position.  Playing a very tough opponent, Fernandez was in for a battle.  Although nerves may have gotten the best of the Sophomore, Fernandez never gave up, and constructed points quite well.  Unfortunately, the opponent’s play was too overbearing, and Fernandez fell 6-0, 6-1. Freshman Tory Jensa played excellently in her second match at #2 singles.  It was excellent to see her confidence in her strokes, as she pushed the pace all match long. This match came down to a few key points, that Jensa couldn’t seem to get on the winning side of.  There is nothing for the newcomer to be mad at, as her grit and determination were second to none. Jensa played hard, but fell in three tiebreakers, 7-6(4), 6-7(5),1-0(7). Veteran Riko Yoshida ’19 played a hard fought match at #3 singles.  The match started with both players tentatively feeling each other out, looking for strengths and weaknesses. After winning the first set 6-4, Yoshida started the second set a bit slow, losing 4-1. Her will to win kicked into gear after getting down early, and brought it back to a tiebreak in the second set, unfortunately, Yoshida lost the tiebreak 7-4.  Yoshida then started the third set tiebreak on fire, getting out to an early lead and never looking back- winning the final set 1-0(6).

Riley Van Wagner ’19 and Kim Macdonald ’21 played together in the #1 doubles spot.  Both girls played quite well, considering this was the first match playing together.  Returning was sometimes problematic, but the opponent’s serves were very strong. Once the Danes got into the point, they played very well, finding themselves in the correct position on many occasions.  The execution at the net was a bit off, but with a bit more time on court, those will surely come. The Danes fell in a close match, 7-5, 6-4. Playing in the #2 doubles position, were Emma Nizami ’20 and Zoe Banta ’19.  Also playing their first match together, there was a bit of a feeling out process. The net play from both players was excellent; as they fended off great shots from the opponents all match long. Banta and Nizami both fought hard for every point, and got many (most) of the games to deuce, but unfortunately, couldn’t pull through on some key points, losing 6-2, 6-1.  This scoreline not indicative of how well the two Danes players competed.

Ashby Baker ’19 and Maria Wei '19 played together at #3 doubles. Advanced serving from the opponents seemed to be the story with this match. Wei and Baker struggled to return many of the opponents’ impressive serves. However, once the Danes got into the point, there was a lot of great things happening.  Fighting hard each point, Wei and Baker used lobs and efficient net play to stay competitive, but ultimately lost 6-3, 6-1. Rounding out play at the #4 doubles position were Marlee Brooks ’19, and Yoon Seo Choi ’19. The match started out frustratingly, as things just weren’t falling in the Dane’s favor. After losing the first set 6-1, Choi and Brooks looked like the second was going to go the same way as the first set.  Finding themselves down 5-2, the Danes switched on, and started battling back with ferocious tenacity. They fought all the way back to a tiebreak, but couldn’t keep the winning ways going, and lost the second set 7-6 (3).
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