High Schools: Brady girls’ tennis team overcomes challenges to win opener
Two Bishop Brady fans wearing horse masks call out to Madeline Moran to wish her luck before her number one game against Oyster River's Becca Hoff during the meet between the schools on April 3, 2013 at Memorial Field in Concord. Moran won 7-6.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
Bishop Brady's Maddy Moran returns a serve in her No. 1 singles match against Oyster River's Becca Hoff during a meet between the schools on April 3, 2013 at Memorial Field in Concord. Moran won 7-6, helping the Green Giants to a 6-3 season-opening victory.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
Bishop Brady's Katie MacMullin returns a serve during her seconds singles match against Oyster River's Ali Stewart on April 3, 2013 at Memorial Field in Concord. MacMullin usually plays at number three, but got the opportunity to move up and won her match.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
The season didn’t wait to challenge the Bishop Brady girls’ tennis team. In yesterday’s opener, the Green Giants didn’t have their No. 2 player, faced severe conditions in their first time outside, and trailed early in the deciding doubles matches.
With things tied up after singles, Oyster River took leads in the second and third doubles matches at a windswept Memorial Field. But the Green Giants bounced back to sweep the doubles and claim a 6-3 win.
“We’ve been playing inside whenever we can, but this was our first time outside, so I think the wind was a little intimidating for us,” said Brady’s No. 1, Maddy Moran. “We’re thrilled. This is a great way to start the season.”
If Brady had its full roster, Moran would have played doubles with Shelby Herrington, Brady’s only other returning starter from last year’s quarterfinal team. But Herrington missed the match and Moran teamed with Mikayla Clarke at second doubles. They struggled to find an early rhythm and fell behind 3-2. At the same time, Oyster River took a commanding 4-1 lead on the third doubles court.
The Giants were on the edge, but Moran and Clarke clicked in time and reeled off an 8-4 victory, and the first doubles team of Katie MacMullin and Caroline Urbanek sealed the team win with an 8-3 decision. And the third doubles team of Lynn Yoon and Emma Nelson came all the way back for a 9-7 win to complete the turnaround.
“I think the momentum kind of shifted in our match,” Moran said. “It was our first time playing together and we were a little nervous, but once we got settled in we got more confident and complemented each other more.”
MacMullin and Urbanek took quick control of their match with leads of 3-0 and 4-1. Oyster River’s Becca Huff and Ali Stewart offered more resistance in the second half of the set, but they couldn’t stop the Brady duo from marching to a comfortable win.
Not only did Yoon and Nelson trail 4-1 at third doubles, they were behind 5-2 before taking seven of the last nine games for their icing-on-the-cake win. It was the second marathon win for Yoon, who pulled out a 9-7 decision in a back-and-forth battle at No. 5 singles.
Moran’s singles match was also a seesaw of momentum before she claimed an 8-6 result at No. 1 over Huff. The two top players mirrored each other with quick feet, smart angles and a willingness to go for shots when the situation called for it.
“It was a game here, a game there, she was up, I was up,” Moran said. “I just had to settle down ... and realize you have to win one point at a time and you can’t look beyond anything but that point.”
Like she did in doubles, MacMullin produced a confident singles win for the Giants, 8-3 at No. 2. Oyster River’s Stewart had a big first serve and good athleticism, but MacMullin made shots when she had to and played with patience to win other points.
Oyster River took an early 1-0 lead behind Katie Sylvia’s 8-3 win at No. 3 singles against Urbanek. The Bobcats’ other singles wins came from No. 4 Abby Howard, 8-6 over Clarke, and No. 6 Veronica Ackerman, 8-6 over Aliza Gray, who played well in defeat as she moved up from No. 7 on the ladder into the varsity top six.
Concord 8, Man. Central 1
The Crimson Tide (1-1) picked up its first win of the season in a road match at Manchester Central (0-1).
Concord was led by sophomore Gabriella Killinger in the No. 1 singles spot and freshman Skye Reese at No. 4, who each had strong eight-love victories. No. 3 Meagan Olive (8-4), No. 5 Irene Ireme (8-3) and No. 6 Kristine Peterson (8-2) all won their singles matches.
No. 1 doubles duo of Killinger and Emily Zimnoski came back from a 6-1 deficit to win 9-8 in a tiebreak, while No. 2 Olive/Peterson (8-2) and No. 3 Mckenzie Bofinger/Divine Mugungoi (8-5) got wins for the Tide.
St. Thomas 7,
Coe-Brown (0-1) lost on the road at St. Thomas (1-0) to start its season.
The winners on the day for the Bears were seniors Noey Struthers (8-5 in No. 1 singles) and Kate Forsythe (8-6 in No. 4 singles), while the No. 3 doubles team of Emily Blad and Bianca Ketenci had a good performance in an 8-4 loss.
The Falcons easily handled the windy conditions, shutting out Pelham in their first match of the season.
No. 1 Sunday Swett rolled to an 8-0 victory, No. 2 Nisha Naik recorded an 8-5 win and No. 3 Jessica Torres won, 8-3. Kristie Smith hung tough in a tight match at No. 4, pulling out a 9-8 victory in a tie-breaker. Freshman Laura Zbehlik shut down her opponent with an 8-0 victory in the No. 5 position, and Alex Lust rounded out the singles results, winning 8-1.
In doubles play, Sweet and Zbehlik won, 8-1;Maik and Torres won, 8-0; and Smith/Lust won, 8-1.
Manchester Central 1
The Crimson Tide moved to 2-0 on the season and 2-0 against the wind as they had to fight against weather as much as the opposition for the second day in a row. No. 1 Greg Cistulli (8-1), No. 2 Justin Toler (8-2), No. 4 Thomas Bengtson (8-1), No. 5 Josh Pifer (8-1) and No. 6 Mattias Lambert (8-1) all claimed singles wins for Concord. No. 3 Evan Hewey ran into an athletic player in Central’s Max Larocque and fell, 8-3, for the Little Green’s only point of the day.
Cistulli and Toler teamed for an 8-1 win at first doubles, Hewy and Pifer claimed an 8-4 win at second doubles, and Bengtson and Lambert won 8-1 at third doubles.
St. Thomas 1
The Bears (1-0) got their season off to a good start, sweeping the Nos. 1-5 singles spots and all three doubles matches against St. Thomas (0-1).
No. 1 Jakob Zylak won his match 8-5, while No. 2 Alex Wimsatt (8-1), No. 3 Simon Wallace (8-5), No. 4 Jessie Cole (8-1) and No. 5 Garrett Kunz (8-4) were all victorious. Of note were the wins by returning senior Cole (who hadn’t played for Coe-Brown since his freshman year) and sophomore Kunz in his debut.
In doubles action, the No. 1 pair of Zylak and Wimsatt (8-2), No. 2 duo of Kunz and Connor Bell (8-2) and the No. 3 team of Jeremy Fenerty and Brian Gordon (8-6) all won their matches.