Andover Girls Tennis Trounces SPS in Successful Home Match

Only in New England can a girls tennis team be trapped indoors, victims of the relentless snow one week, and next week emerging triumphant on the court on a bright sunny day. That is just what happened last Wednesday when the Andover girls’ tennis team took on St. Paul’s; PA came out with a victorious score of 13-5. The team, playing in the traditional Independent School League (ISL) format of six seeded singles and three seeded doubles with two sets per match, performed remarkably well. Co-captain Tara Gadgil ’03 (who won both her sets 6-3 and 6-1) commented, “I was a little worried coming in because we haven’t played a match yet, but we put in a strong showing; we have a really deep team this year.” “Deep” may be an understatement. Of the six girls who played singles, three came out to win both sets. In doubles, all three teams won both sets, easily showing that in a team-to-team comparison, PA took the gold. Seeded first was the talented Diana Grace ’05 who made an impressive showing by winning both her singles sets by scores of 6-3, 6-3. James Kenley ’01, an avid spectator of the game, remarked on Grace’s playing, “With Diana’s confidence and energy out on the court, it looks like girls’ tennis is going to have a good season ahead.” Co-captain and number two seed Anne Snyder ’03 lost her first set 4-6 but came back with a great recovery in her second set, winning it 6-2. Snyder said of her game, “[My opponent] was a really good player who had a lot of top spin. We split sets and I did my best.” Those last sentiments seemed to be the theme of the match. Jessica Hsiao ’04 who was seeded sixth stated, “I think that this year’s team is very close, so we have a lot of good teamwork – everyone definitely plays to their fullest in all of the matches.” Their hard work certainly paid off. Arielle Schmidt ’03 and Gadgil worked up quite the sweat on the courts. Both of Schmidt’s matches were very close, but unfortunately, she lost both sets by a score of 5-7. Gadgil had great success, triumphing over her St. Paul’s counterpart, 6-3, 6-1. The good news kept coming as Priya Sridhar ’03, seeded fifth, won both her sets 6-0 and 6-1. Sridhar, well prepared mentally for the match, used careful strategy. “I felt like I played pretty solidly today,” she said, “After I got up a couple of games in each set, I tried to take more risks with my game, and fortunately it ended up succeeding.” Hsiao, seeded after Sridhar, found herself in some tight games, and while she lost her two sets 2-6 and 2-3, she kept her head up and came off the court smiling. After the team had finished their singles matches, they proceeded to begin the doubles play. Gadgil teamed up with Grace to play first seed doubles while Schmidt and Snyder played second seed and newcomers Sarah Chang ’05 and Sara Snyder ’06 played as the third doubles duo. The number one team worked incredibly well together, professionally handling the pressure when St. Paul’s began to mix it up. “Doubles went well because Diana and I have played together before and we were able to use our experience to our advantage,” said Gadgil. “[The St. Paul’s players] were inconsistent, and we were able to capitalize on their mistakes.” With Schmidt and Snyder providing clear-cut wins of 6-2, 6-0 over their opponents while Chang and Snyder prevailed 6-2, 6-3, it is safe to say that Andover had a very encouraging first match against St. Paul’s. With a team so full of talent, and its attitude and work ethic so positive, Andover’s prospective season looks like it will be a great one.