The Hamilton-Wenham girls tennis team could have easily suffered from the after-effects of a tough loss in its first week of matches.
Following last Monday’s 4-1 loss - one of the top teams in the Cape Ann League - the Generals came back with a vengeance the following day, April 12, to shut out , 5-0.
“I think it was a confidence booster for the girls to beat Triton (after losing to Pentucket),” said coach Claudia Hawkes. “It was a good feeling for everyone to win. It was a good team win – everyone was high-fiving each other. No one was down.”
With the No. 2 doubles team of Caroline Flores and Addie Loomis losing in three sets, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, and top singles player Charlotte Horton just missing out, 7-6, 6-3, and probable singles player Caroline Gribbell out with a twisted knee, the showing against top-tier Pentucket was a positive one.
Add in a tough trip to Pentucket in West Newbury, when the bus had to use a detour due to a house fire – which resulted in little warm-up time for the Hamilton-Wenham team - and the cards were stacked against the visitors from the get-go.
“If we were a little more settled (by arriving a little earlier) we might have been able to pull out two more matches and won.”
The lone win was the first doubles team of Katharine Heffernan and Allie Whelan, who crushed the team of Jena Hackett and Caroline Quinnelly, 6-2, 6-1.
“They jelled together even though they never played together before,” Hawkes explained. “They understood where they need to be (on the court).”
Against Triton everyone cruised, other than Horton who gutted out a 7-6, 7-6 win at No. 1 singles.
“I liked seeing Charlotte … able to persevere and was (she) determined to win the tiebreakers,” Hawkes said. “She wasn’t playing her best tennis, but well enough to win.”
Bridi Thaggard won 6-3, 6-1 and Christina Belezos lost only one game, 6-0, 6-1 at first and second singles, respectively. The doubles teams were strong, too - Heffernan and Whelan, 6-1, 6-1; Flores and Loomis, 6-0, 6-1.
The junior varsity team (consisting of all doubles matches) also swept Triton’s JVs: Nikki Leonard and Carson Smiley; Lilly Shiland and Colleen Ford; Caroline Fallon and Carrie Goodrich; Nikki Leonard and Julia MacDonald.
Hawkes is keeping a positive outlook despite the disappointing loss to open the season.
“It’s not a bad thing to lose our first match,” she said. “It put us on our toes and now we know what need to work on. There are other schools as good or better than Pentucket. It opened our eyes to what we need to do.”
The Generals match scheduled at Rockport on Monday was rained out and . The team retruns to to on Wednesday and finish the week with an away match on Friday .