NORTH KINGSTOWN – A win is a win. They all count the same in the end of the day, so doing what must be done to get the win is important.
The wins have been there early in the season for the East Greenwich girls tennis team, who have opened their 2013 season with three straight following Monday’s 5-2 victory at North Kingstown.
When you are a team with expectations as lofty as the Avengers, however, sometimes the end result can be overshadowed in the wake of how the match was won.
“North Kingstown is a very deep team,” said East Greenwich coach Marc Brocato. “…We won 5-2, but that match could have easily gone to North Kingstown, so I give my girls a lot of credit for fighting and staying in there, but I might let them have it a little bit on the bus in terms of cleaning things up a little bit and we have to practice a little bit harder to clean up some of our errors because we have to perform a little more to our capabilities.”
At the top of the ladder, things could not have gone much better for the Avengers on Monday.
Despite still being hampered by an injury, Aleksandra Drljaca took her customary spot atop the singles ladder for the first time this season and dropped just one game in her straight sets victory over Mary Morabit, 6-0, 6-1. Peri Sheinen, who went 2-0 in Drljaca’s stead at No. 1, posted a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Taylor Masi at No. 2 singles, while Heather Shen carved up Grace Zangari, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 3 singles.
Yet, for as easy as the top three matches were for East Greenwich, the bottom four were equally difficult.
“We had a very top-heavy match today where we performed exceptionally well at our first three singles, but then we just kind of hung on after that,” Brocato said.
“I don’t want to be that team. I want to be good from top to bottom. I don’t want to have to just rely on our top singles players in order to get things done. We have a lot of work to do. It was pretty sloppy.”
Emma Falkenberry and Eleanor Fulgum suffered the first defeat of the day for the Avengers when they dropped their No. 1 doubles match against Lucia Bolibruch and Grace Callahan, 6-4, 6-4.
North Kingstown then kept its hopes of pulling the upset alive when Maria Bolibruch won a long, hard fought battle at No. 3 singles against Catherine Karbasiafshar, 6-4, 7-6 (13-11).
With the overall match score at 3-2, the No. 2 doubles match became the first on the day to go to a decisive third set. After Sam Land and Veronica Comito won the first set 6-2, Maria Cimerol and Maddie Bishara put North on the verge of tying things as they won the second set 6-4. Comito and Land, however, rebounded and iced the match in the third set with a 6-4 victory.
Though East Greenwich had already locked up the win, for good measure Romina Garakani and Brooke Fennell extended the margin by following a similar pattern to Land and Comito at No. 3 doubles.
Fennell and Garakani won the first set 6-2 and dropping the second 6-4. They, too, rebounded in the third set, taking it 6-3 to win their match.
“I’m tough on them, but I’ll love them up, too,” Brocato said. “Obviously I’m proud of them getting the win done anyway they can. It’s also my job to make them realize we have some work to do and we definitely have room for improvement. It’s not like we can just throw our rackets out on the court and win a match. We have to work for it.
“We just have to get to a point where we make it a little easier on ourselves. Today was a really hard fought match.”
The Avengers did not have to wait long for the opportunity to learn from Monday’s struggles with just one day off before returning to the courts Wednesday when they travelled to Barrington to take on the Eagles (results unavailable at press time).
East Greenwich will wrap up their week Friday at home at 3:30 p.m. with a playoff grudge match against Mount St. Charles, the team that bounced the Avengers from the 2012 postseason.