Monument Mountain girls, Mount Greylock boys earn tennis wins
WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Mount Greylock girls tennis team entered Monday's match against Monument Mountain short-handed. With several players away on vacation, Greylock forfeited its No. 2 doubles point, starting the match trailing one point.
The Mounties hung tough with last year's Western Massachusetts champion Spartans, but Monument's depth was too much. The Spartans won 5-0.
On the boys side, the match was decided at the No. 1 singles spot, where Greylock pulled out a 3-2 win.
On the girls side, at No. 2 singles, Monument's Cara Freadman and Greylock's Tara Shastri played a back-and-forth match that pitted two opposing styles against each other.
Freadman used a consistent, finesse-type game to force long volleys with Shastri. While Shastri relied on her powerful baseline shots, taking a 3-2 advantage in the first set. Freadman regrouped after trailing, however, taking the set 7-5. She won the second set 6-4.
Freadman said cutting back on her errors allowed her to win the match.
"I started making a lot more errors and I was hitting it out a lot more than I should have," she said. "I realized if you hit it in, that's better than hitting it hard and out."
At No. 1 singles, Monument's Sam White also had her hands full after it appeared she was heading to a dominant win.
After losing the first three games of the first set, Melina Sfakianaki's craftiness allowed her to battle back. Sfakianaki took four games from White, but could not complete the comeback, falling 6-4. She lost the second set 6-2.
White said Sfakianaki's slice shots and drop shots did a good job of keeping her off balance.
"Moving around and moving to my backhand helped too. My forehand wasn't too good today," White said.
The points from No. 1 and No. 2 singles were enough for Monument to take the match, but the Spartans' final two points were hard earned.
At No. 1 doubles, Monument's Emily Martin and Molly Amstead forced a third set, winning 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.
At No. 3 singles, Monument's Jen Evans used a strong third set to take a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Mariza Sfakianaki.
Monument coach Jeff Caligari said he was pleased with the poise his team showed to pull out its close matches.
"They don't get flustered. They stay with their gameplan and don't deviate from that," he said.
For the Greylock boys, No. 1 singles player Nyein Soe said he didn't know his match was the deciding match for the team.
With his teammates cheering him on after each point, Soe pulled out a 6-4, 5-7, 7-4 (9-7) victory over Satchel Fisher, clinching the match for Greylock.
Greylock coach Stephen Bryant said when the match is on the line, it's nice to leave it up to a player like Soe.
"I didn't think [the match] was going to be so close, but I'm glad it was our No. 1 who made the deciding point," he said. "It was a very competitive match. A lot of big rallies and big points."
Soe's point was the only singles point Greylock won.
Monument's Kevin Li (No. 2) won 6-4, 6-4 over Will Nolan, and Cam Powell (No. 3) won 6-2, 6-0 over Josh Narey.
Clutch play at No. 2 doubles was crucial to Greylock's victory as well. Matt and Aaron Kliner beat Andrew Rada and Alec Goffin in a tough 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5) match.
Jake Foehl and Alex Cheung beat Isaac Graves and Kevin Costello 6-2, 6-0.
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