After sprinting to the back of the court, Sofia Poncel ’21 lobbed the ball over her opponent’s head, forcing her competition to make an error from behind the baseline. Poncel finished with a set score of 6-7 (6), 7-5, 10-8. Her victory secured a clean sweep for Andover Girls Tennis over St. Pauls’ following. The team still stands undefeated, with a record of 3-0.
In Wednesday’s match, the team’s focus was on charging and holding control at the net, according to Reimi Kusaka ’21.
“My team right now and our coaches are really stressing the fact that we should always close up net and work our way up to the net to finish the point strong, and not give our opponent chances to come out and hit the ball back really hard. And I think taking control of the point first and then taking over is really important,” said Kusaka.
Due to its focus on doubles tactics in practice last week, Andover shifted its focus to singles play in preparation for Wednesday, according to second seed Nicole Lee ’22.
“Especially this week, we focused more on singles, because we hadn’t spent as much time on that last week because of the doubles practices. We did drills and point-plays for singles because our doubles is a lot better now,” said Lee.
According to her doubles partner, Sophia Poncel ’21, they compiled their individual strengths to shut down their opponents.
“We were able to win 8-0 really quickly. Her serves really set up the point well and allowed me to close in to make the opportunity to finish it quickly. So I think that allowed us to rally finish off well and making sure to get our returns in,” said Lee.
Poncel said, “Nicole did a really good job at always poaching because we started the point really hard. My serve and her serve forced the opponent to hit a return towards the middle, so Nicole did a really good job at poaching those and ending the point pretty quickly. We played very efficient.”
Moving forward, the team needs to work on serve percentages and double faults to prevent the opponent from accumulating points, according to Kusaka.
Andover will travel to Choate for its first away game this Saturday.
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