Andover Dominates Exeter in Singles Play

Andover Girls Tennis had many ups and downs this week with wins against BB&N and Exeter and a close loss against Middlesex. The team beat BB&N on Friday 8-7. With counted sets and the singles tied, the team needed to win two out of its three doubles to pull out a victory. All of the doubles matches were challenging and very close, and two out of the three did win. Isabella Haegg ’16 and Captain Katherine Lee ’13 were the only doubles pair that lost with a score of 6-8. The pair that Haegg and Lee played consisted of BB&N’s numbers one and five players. Lee lost to the number one player in a close singles match. “What pulled us through each match was definitely our doubles. We’ve been working hard in practice to learn new techniques, and all of this hard work has definitely paid off.” said MJ Engel ’13. Engel attributes the team’s crucial confidence to the countless drills the team used in practice the week before. Andover continued its strong play the next day, Saturday, when the team dominated Exeter 7-2. Lee’s opponent on the ladder’s number one spot played long points with high endurance. Lee was down 4-0 in the first set but rallied back to win 6-4. Lee went on to win her doubles match with Haegg. Ultimately, Andover won two of the three doubles. The rest of the singles matches went smoothly and the girls won relatively easily. This victory propelled the team into feeling optimistic about the rest of the season. “This season is going incredibly well. We’re getting even better at working as a team, and doubles [are] pulling us through the tight matches,” said Lee. “The end goal is to win New Englands. We’ve come so close the past three years, I really think we can take first place this time.” Middlesex was the most talented team the girls faced this week, resulting in a close 8-7 loss with sets counted on Wednesday. After the singles matches were completed, Andover was down two points and had to win all three doubles matches in order to pull out a victory. Middlesex played a very consistent game, always returning the ball and placing it well on the court. However, Middlesex did not hit any winners or challenge the net. As a result, Andover had to compensate by playing more aggressively, resulting in more errors . Middlesex’s ladder also had a consistent level of play, and their drastic improvement from previous seasons surprised Andover, which was missing two of its players, Katherine Tobeason ’14 and Mackenzie Strabala ’13. Lee also played a close game with the very strong number one player from Middlesex. Both Camille Price ’15 and Engel won clean matches and both of their sets. Campbell Howe ’14 lost her first set but won her second. Howe’s doubles match with Engel was also very tight, and they started off down 7-6 but were able to counter and win 9-7. Andover Girls Tennis will face Milton next Wednesday.