As much as every coach wants to win every match most will admit that as long as they see improvement they’ll leave a game satisfied.
For the Exeter-West Greenwich girls tennis team, Tuesday’s match at Scituate was a concrete example that the Knights are better than they were at the start of September.
After opening the season by getting swept at home by the Spartans EWG gave Scituate all it could handle Tuesday before falling 5-2.
“Our scores were much better today than against Scituate the first time,” EWG coach Anne Sullivan said by phone Tuesday night. “I’m thrilled with the results. It would have been nice to have a couple of those three setters go our way but I was pleased with the girls.”
At the beginning of the season Sullivan wasn’t too sure what to expect from her team as the Knights entered the season in spots young in age and experienced.
“This year was more of a concern than previous years,” Sullivan said. “I am just thrilled with the improvement and the way they’re playing. They’re a good group of girls.”
The Knights record dropped to 5-3 with Tuesday’s loss but for a 10-player lineup with five underclassmen it’s hard to find fault with how the team has played so far as their three losses have come at the hands of Scituate (8-0 Division III-West) and Coventry (7-1 D-III West).
More to the point of how much the Knights have improved so far is in the scores of Tuesday’s match as a number of losses could have easily gone in EWG’s favor.
At No. 1 singles senior Julia VanGyzen was edged out by Jade Annaldo 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, while at No. 4 sophomore Cailin Healey suffered a similar fate with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 loss to Holly Swanson.
Junior Sarah Rumsey lost her match 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 but sophomore Mackenzie Walsh salvaged a point in a singles with a hard-fought 5-7,6-2,6-2 victory over Emily Jodoin at No. 3.
“She had played that same girl the last time and lost to her 6-1, 6-3,” Sullivan said. “This was a very good win for Mackenzie.”
Similarly to Walsh, the Knights’ No. 2 doubles team of senior Marisa Calise and freshman Isabella Weikman turned around their result from the last time they played Scituate.
While they played a different pairing this time around, the EWG duo still managed to go from losing last time to securing a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Vanessa Christiansen and Jenna DeFrancisco Tuesday.
“They had actually lost in two sets last time,” Sullivan said. “It was another very good win for this team. They played very well.”
Sophomore Haley Harrington and Grace Rathbun suffered a close two-set loss to Elaine Reedy and Giselle Dion 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3, while the No. 1 tandem of seniors Emilie Simonini and Eleni Giannopoulos dropped a 6-1, 6-3 decision to round out doubles play.
The Knights will wrap up the week with a key match against Cranston East (5-3 D-III West) today at 3:30 p.m. at Park View Middle School with third place in the division on the line.