Monday May 6, 2013

It's been a pretty good stretch for the Lee girls tennis team, going 3 for 3 in the past seven days.

Caitlyn Briggs' success has been a huge factor in the Wildcats' perfect week. Briggs won all three of her matches at No. 1 singles, all in straight sets, and that helped her win this week's Player of the Week poll.

The highlight for the Lee junior was her straight-set victory over Sam White in Lee's 4-1 win over Monument Mountain. Briggs bookended that win with wins over Ashlee Shaw and Victoria Aldam of Mount Everett.

"I think it definitely helps boost us all," said Briggs.

Caitlyn Briggs is on a roll.
Caitlyn Briggs is on a roll. (Caroline Bonnivier Snyder / Berkshire Eagle Staff)
"We were kind of like a middle team. We're really good, but there are a lot of really good players in Berkshire County. I guess it boosted our confidence after we beat Monument."

The Wildcats head into this week sporting a nifty 5-2 record after Friday's win over Everett. But it was the win over Monument that still has people buzzing.

It was a contest between two No. 1 singles players and White has established herself as one of the better singles players in Berkshire County.

"I was scared. I thought I was going to lose," Briggs said with a laugh. "Everyone was telling me that all I had to do was play my game and it wouldn't matter if I win or lose."

As noted by the final score, had Briggs lost, it would not have changed the result of the match. She didn't lose, and said she was ready to go.

"From the beginning, I felt really good," she said. "Then she started coming back and I thought that this must be what everyone was talking about, because this was the first time I played Sam and she's really, really good."

White battled Briggs in the first set, but the Wildcat player did escape with a 7-5 win in the first set.

The second set was better and Briggs scored a 6-3 decision to claim the victory.

"I was really excited" at match point, Briggs said. "I remember in the second set, I was up and I was really happy that I was winning."

In four straight wins for the Wildcats, Briggs had four straight-set victories. Two of them, the wins over White and Taconic's Isabelle George, Briggs was pushed to 7-5 in the first sets. She recovered to win the second sets.

All of those wins, but particularly, the win over White, has the Lee junior's confidence on the rise.

"It just boosts your self esteem," said Briggs. "We're really starting to get back up there in the race."

This is a big month for the Wildcats and the rest of the teams that can qualify for the Western Massachusetts Division III tournament. The Wildcats have lost in the quarterfinals the past four years, while rival Lenox has won the last three Western Mass. titles.

The confidence of the last week, Briggs said, can only help her and the Wildcats.

"We want to make it to Western Mass., obviously, and I guess we're going to get there," said Briggs. "We're trying to go all the way."

To reach Howard Herman:
hherman@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6253.
On Twitter: @howardherman.