Girls Tennis Splits Openers; Beats Nobles, Loses to BB&N

Andover girl’s varsity tennis opened up the 2006 season with a bang this past week, easily defeating Nobles on Saturday. Following this strong performance, Andover narrowly lost to the defending NEPSAC tournament champions BB&N on Wednesday. The girls had a terrific match to open the season, overpowering Nobles 6-3 with some spectacular individual efforts. Pulling out four of the six singles matches and two of the three doubles matches, the team strode to victory, claiming an important season opening win. In one of the most important matches of the competition, Lucretia Witte ’06 and Maggie Maffione ’08 won a hard fought battle 8-6 with some great court communication and teamwork. Lauren Wilmarth ’09 paired with team captain Alyssa Hill ’06 also won a key doubles match for the Big Blue. In the singles matches, Elena Jacobson ’08, playing number one for the varsity squad, rolled over her Nobles opponent 6-0, 6-1. The only junior on the team, Lauren, also had an near spotless day, defeating her opponent 6-1, 6-0 in two sets. Archie Rajender ’07, played some great tennis in her first Varsity match, and easily marched to victory with a 6-2, 6-2 win. BB&N proved to be a much tougher opponent for Andover, and presented them with its first real challenge of the year. As defending tournament champs, BB&N came into this season with high hopes. Andover was eager to test its skills against the talented squad. The match finished 7-8 in BB&N’s favor, although the win was only by a single set and could have gone either way. Andover fought hard all the way through and played some spectacular tennis, distinguishing itself as a strong and worthy opponent. Lauren Wilmarth ‘09 and Elena Jacobson ‘08 won the first doubles match. In the singles matches, Wilmarth played number one but didn’t face her counterpart on BB&N because she was injured. Wilmarth played another member of the BB&N team, and won 6-0, 6-0. Elena split her match 1-1 with a gallant comeback in the second set to tie the match. Van Sluytman played some terrific tennis, but she ended up losing in a final set tiebreaker. Captain Alyssa Hill had a good day as well, easily winning 6-0, 6-0. Andover is already looking forward to its next match against BB&N, seeking revenge for this week’s tough loss. Coach Martha Grant can’t wait for its next shot at the team, “We will be ready for the next time we play BB&N. This time it will be in Andover on the outdoor courts (the courts at BB&N were indoor)…I think we have a great chance of beating them.” Next week the girls will be taking on Deerfield, Andover High, and St. Paul’s, and will be looking to improve their record of 1-1 for the year.