Andover Tennis Stuns Unbeaten Thayer Squad

Andover Girls Tennis used mid-match strategy changes to catch the undefeated Thayer Academy by surprise this Wednesday. Though the number one singles and doubles positions fell to powerful Thayer opponents, Andover’s lower end of the ladder fought back for a 10-5 overall win. To start the match, Katherine Lee ’13 moved up to the first singles position, and faced faced a nationally ranked opponent. Though Lee suffered the match loss 1-6, 2-6, she came out on top for three of the twelve games. Fay Feghali ’12 battled through a tiebreaker at the number two singles position to snag a 6-2, 7-6 win. “Feghali is a very aggressive tennis player, and has to reel herself in sometimes,” said Coach Martha Grant. Feghali settled down and made smart tactical choices, which helped her in the tight second set. Said Grant, “At number two singles, you definitely can’t just bunt the ball back; you have to take your chances when you get them, and she certainly did.” Elizabeth Kelly ’11 won her first set 7-5 against Thayer’s captain at the third singles position. Though she played a great first match, her opponent “had things to prove in the second,” according to Grant, and Kelly lost 2-6. Co-Captain Stacia Vladimirova ’11 took the court in the fourth position, losing her first set 4-6 but fighting back for a 6-4 second-set win. MJ Engel ’13 started slowly in her first set, but persevered to win 6-4. Said Grant, “It’s so easy to let momentum take over, but she didn’t let that happen.” Engel slid to another easy victory in her second set, winning 6-3. Borkeny Sambou ’12 took an easy 6-0, 6-3 win in the sixth singles position. Andover struggled with the top of Thayer’s ladder again in the doubles matches, but pummeled the second and third opponents. Feghali and Lee teamed up in the fourth position, suffering a 2-8 loss. Vladimirova and Kelly paired to beat their opponents 8-3. Because of their strong chemistry throughout the season, they plan to continue playing doubles together in the upcoming tournament. Sambou and Engel got down 2-7 early in the third doubles position. The duo then changed strategy, using variety with their shots, rather than only trying to drive the ball through. They played extremely consistent tennis, and came back to win 9-8 in the tiebreaker. Andover looks ahead to their upcoming matches against Andover High School and rival Exeter.