Monument girls tennis stays unbeaten; Greylock boys hold off Spartans
GREAT BARRINGTON -- Sam White was in unfamiliar territory during a break in play Thursday at Monument Mountain.
The No. 1 singles player for the Spartans' girls tennis team was headed to a third set. That hadn't happened to her all season.
"I was definitely nervous sitting there during that break, but thinking of what I needed to do, mostly," White said.
If any nerves were left in the third set, they didn't show. White finished off Mount Greylock's Tara Shastri without dropping a game to earn a 6-2, 5-7, 6-0 win. Monument, meanwhile, stayed unbeaten in team play this season by sweeping Greylock 5-0.
The Greylock boys held on for the team win, sweeping doubles play and getting a No. 3 singles win from Alex Cheung to beat Monument 3-2.
Unbeaten records are a common theme with the Spartan girls (13-0, 11-0 county). White hasn't lost a match in 2014, nor have Cara Freadman or Jennifer Evans at Nos. 2 and 3 singles, respectively. Freadman beat Melina Sfakianaki 6-3, 7-5, while Evans held off Mariza Sfakianaki 6-3, 6-4.
"They're moving extremely well, all of them," said Monument coach Jeff Caligari of his singles players. "They're athletic. They get to a lot of balls. The thing they all have a knack for doing is winning the big points, as you saw [in Freadman's match]."
White said Caligari's advice during the break between sets 2 and 3 was at least part of the difference in her third-set win.
"Coach told me to hit with a lot of spin and down the middle," she said. "[Shastri] was taking my angled balls and hitting them behind me, which was really messing me up in the second set."
The Spartans' doubles teams -- Molly Amstead and Emily Martin, and Carly Shafiroff and Hailey Higgins -- both won in straight sets.
Monument Mountain can finish an unbeaten regular season next Thursday at Reid Middle School if it beats Pittsfield. Before that, though, White and Freadman head east for the second weekend of the Western Mass. individual tournament. Both have reached the round of 16, scheduled for Saturday at Smith College.
"Now they're getting toward the top of the draw as they go deeper into it, and they're going to find these girls play a power game, for the most part, and are very consistent," Caligari said. "They're going to have to become more aggressive and start going for some shots, but they're going to be competitive."
The team match was already Greylock's by the time the Mounties' Nyein Soe and Monument's Kevin Li wrapped up their No. 1 singles match. Still, the third set had all the intensity of match that would determine the outcome of the day.
Li took the first set 7-5 and dropped the second set 5-7, but overcame leg cramps and a successful Soe point challenge in the final set -- one which swung a game in the Mountie's favor -- to win 6-2.
"By the third set, after the cramps, I got back up and seemed to be playing OK," Li said. "I changed my strategy and tried to attack more.
"We already lost, but I wanted to make a final statement to our rivals. Hopefully, we meet them in Western Mass."
Greylock's doubles teams -- Jake Foehl and Gray Kaegi, and Aaron and Matthew Kleiner -- won their matches in straight sets.
"First doubles, they're really great at the net," Greylock coach Stephen Bryant said. "Good servers. They knew what to do, and they did it."
Cheung's 6-1, 6-3 win over Cam Powell clinched the team win for the Mounties (11-1, 10-0).
"That was big," Bryant said. "One and two singles could have gone any way. It's nice to get that safety point there [for] an easy clinch. His game was on today. He was in full control most of the match."
Will Nolan won the first set at No. 2 doubles, but Monument's Satchel Fisher rallied for a 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 win.
Singles: 1 -- Kevin Li (MM) def. Nyein Soe 7-5, 5-7, 6-2; 2 -- Satchel Fisher (MM) def. Will Nolan 5-7, 6-1, 6-3; 3 -- Alex Cheung (MG) def. Cam Powell 6-1, 6-3. Doubles: 1 -- Jake Foehl/Gray Kaegi (MG) def. Isaac Graves/Sam Plishtin 6-3, 6-1; 2 -- Aaron Kleiner/Matthew Kleiner (MG) def. Kevin Costello/Andrew Rada 7-5, 6-3.
Singles: 1 -- Sam White (MM) def. Tara Shastri 6-2, 5-7, 6-0; 2 -- Cara Freadman (MM) def. Melina Sfakianaki 6-3, 7-5; 3 -- Jennifer Evans (MM) def. Mariza Sfakianaki 6-3, 6-4. Doubles: 1 -- Molly Amstead/Emily Martin (MM) def. Charlotte Rand/Tyra Nurmi 6-4, 6-2; 2 -- Carly Shafiroff/Hailey Higgins (MM) def. Amy Larabee/Katie Mick 6-2, 6-2.
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