A poach by Co-Captain Reimi Kusaka ’21 in the final point of her doubles match with Co-Captain Nicole Lee ’22 set the tone for the rest of the day as Andover Girls Tennis recorded a dominant display at Phillips Exeter Academy, winning 7-2 away. This win continues the team’s undefeated record, bringing its season record to 5-0.
According to Lee, what was key to this dominant win was being able to win the doubles matches which gave the team momentum to do well in its singles matches.
Lee said, “Our team has focused a lot on our doubles games, given that a lot of us before Andover were primarily singles players. Because we do play doubles first, those three matches, it really helps us to get our energy up. I feel a lot more team spirit that we carry on into our singles matches as well. It offers great energy, great fighting spirit–everyone gets really hyped.”
Head Coach Deborah Chase believes the focus on doubles in practice paid off on the day of the match. According to Coach Chase, the implementation of new formations was a success.
“I would say that I was most pleased today with our doubles play. We worked hard all week and worked on some new formations. To see the girls push themselves and try to implement these new formations and be really aggressive at the net, it paid off and I was really proud of them on the doubles especially,” said Coach Chase.
Although experimenting with new formations required some bravery, Coach Chase believes that their performances and results will only improve as the team gains more confidence with more experience.
Coach Chase said, “It’s always scary, I think, to try some new things that have been untested in match play, but that’s also where we learn… I think the biggest takeaway is [that] we know the strategies, and we’re working on the tools, so now, it’s taking the risks in the [matches] and continuing to implement the strategies that we know will win. I think the more matches we play, the better we [will] get.”
Looking ahead to the reverse fixture at home, Lee says that one thing she believes the team should focus on is itself rather than Exeter’s team.
“I’m really hoping we’ll be able to repeat the result that we had and do it again so convincingly. I think we’re looking to focus on our own game, not so much worrying about what their lineup may be, or what they’ll change, but just focusing on the fact that we’ve been working on a few things during practice, and really emphasizing that in all our matches, [we make] sure we stick to the way that we each play [because] we know how to win,” said Lee.
Andover will face Exeter this Friday at home.