Girls Tennis Falls Short of High Hopes, Bowing to Exeter to Close out Season

This Wednesday, the Girls Varsity Tennis team went to Exeter for its much-anticipated end of season match. After losing a scrimmage in early April by only one match, the Andover team had high hopes for the day. However, against Exeter’s revised lineup and increased experience, the Andover team went down six matches to three. In the number one spot, Exeter had a clear advantage over PA’s number one, Margaret Kelly ’06. Playing for the second time this season, Kelly lost 6-1, 6-0, a similar score to her 0 and 1 loss at the scrimmage in April. In the second spot, Exeter’s old number three played the Lady Blue’s Diana Grace ’05. The Exeter player, who defeated third player Lucretia Witte ’06 at the last meeting 6-4, 6-3; went down 6-2, 6-1 to Grace. PA’s third player Witte took on the former Exeter number two, who had lost 6-3, 6-4 to Grace two months ago. Witte’s match, which lasted almost two and a half hours, ended with a 6-3, 6-3 loss to her Big Red opponent. Number four, Captain Sarah Chang ’05, faced the same Exeter player from her scrimmage but did not fare as well the second time around. While she tied her Exeter opponent with a 3-6, 6-2 match in April, she lost 6-0, 6-1 to her on Wednesday. PA entered the match having changed it numbers five and six in the ladder, moving Alyssa Hill ’06 up to play number five. The number five slot went to Exeter in April, but Hill stepped up to win 6-4, 7-5. At the sixth slot, new number six Alice Campbell ’05 suffered a close loss to her PEA opponent, who had tied Hill at 4-6, 6-3 before. Campbell lost 6-0, 2-6, and then 8-12 in the tiebreaker. In doubles, Grace and Witte partnered with each other at the first slot, against Exeter numbers one and three. The Exeter duo proved to be too much for the top PA team, and Grace and Witte lost 6-4, 6-2. At number two, teammates Chang and Kelly put away their Exeter opponents 6-0, 6-1. At third doubles, Hill and Watson lost 6-3, 6-2 to their Red rivals. Despite the loss of six matches to three, the Andover girls really fought well. Said Coach Martha Grant of the performance, “I was happy to see that each girl’s game has really improved. My whole team played better than they did back in April. Unfortunately, so did the Exeter team, and their status as an older and more experienced group benefited them in this case.” When asked about her forecast for the NEPSAC tournament on Saturday, Captain Sarah Chang said, “I think Exeter posed a good challenge for us in preparation for this tournament. I know we are all looking forward to doing our best at Milton, and this last tough fight will prepare us well for what I hope will be a good showing at the tournament.”