Girls Tennis Drops Nailbiters to BB&N and Exeter; Witte ’06 Has Tremendous Comeback Against PEA

The Girls Tennis team had a rough schedule last week, playing two tough squads back to back on Friday and Saturday. Trying to bounce back from a nail-biting loss against Choate, the girls came just short of victory against both BB&N and rival PEA, losing 8-7, 8-7 in grueling matches. The Big Blue took on BB&N at home, looking for revenge after an early season loss to the well-balanced squad. Playing without Maggie Maffione ’08, the girls fought hard and split sets in three of the six singles matches. Lauren Wilmarth ’09 finally met her match and struggled in the first set of her singles match, falling 1-6, but came back strong in the second set to win 6-4 tying the match. This was the first time all season anyone has been able to take a set from the dominant freshman. Playing the number two position for Andover, Elena Jacobson ’08 ended up splitting sets as well, winning the first set 6-4, but then losing the second 0-6. Jacobson’s energy plummeted after her first set, a result of her bout with food poisoning. Arianna van Sluytman ’08 was the only Andover player to pull out a solid win, easily defeating her BB&N opponent in straight sets. Archie Rajender ’07 also split sets, and Captain Alyssa Hill ’06 lost her match in a close second set tiebreaker. In the doubles matches, the dynamic duo of Wilmarth and Jacobson was finally taken down by the top BB&N doubles team 3-8. The senior doubles team for the Big Blue, Lucretia Witte ’06 and Captain Hill, were the only ones to defeat their opponent, rolling to an 8-4 win over BB&N. But in the end it was not quite enough, and the girls lost the disappointing match by a single set. There was no time to sulk over the BB&N loss for the Big Blue, who had an important match against Exeter the next day. The girls were looking to take the first of the two meetings with Exeter, and prove their worth against the perennially powerful team. But again the girls came up just short of victory, losing by only a single heartbreaking set once again. In the doubles matches, Jacobson and van Sluytman defeated their opponents with a convincing 8-5 victory, while the other two teams fell to the Exeter girls. In the singles matches, Wilmarth gallantly pulled herself together after losing the first set 3-6, and won the second set in a close tiebreaker to tie the match. Jacobson ’08 had a dominating performance and won in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. The senior leader of the team, Witte, also had an excellent match and split sets against her Exeter opponent. After losing the first set, Witte fought back to take the second set 6-2 and keep Andover’s hopes alive. Van Sluytman continued her hot streak with her third singles victory in a row, easily winning her match 6-3, 6-2. But unfortunately, when the dust had cleared, Exeter came out on top and claimed the first match against Andover of the year. Falling to 4-4 on the season, the Big Blue will look to end their slump with a match against the tough Loomis squad next week.