GREENFIELD – The Greenfield women’s tennis team ended their season on a high note on Friday, but Mohawk Trail has not made it easy for them.
With a multitude of close games, the young Green Wave managed to secure a pair of singles wins while Kaitlyn Collins and Rory Cronen-Townsend took a No.1 doubles victory to seal a 3-2 victory for Greenfield at Davis Street courts.
The Green Wave ends their season 3-5 while the Warriors – who were also playing in their last game of the season – drop to 2-5. With neither team having a senior on the roster, both teams believe the future is bright with their schedule.
“It’s been a crazy year,” said Kaitlyn Phillips, Green Wave’s third singles player. “It has been a difficult season. Half of our team is brand new so it was difficult and we did our best. We didn’t know what was going to happen this year until later, and then it was a shortened season. We made the most of it. Since we had so little time to practice before our first game, all the experienced girls are just trying to help everyone and teach them the ropes during this weird year.
Greenfield captain Jenna Keith triumphed 6-3, 6-3 in the No.1 singles against Avery Dupree of Mohawk Trail, Keith feeling she has played as well as she has all season.
“It went well today,” Keith said. “I definitely improved throughout the year. Today was my best game of the season. A lot of my services have come in, but they usually don’t.
After the cancellation of the spring tennis season last year, young players from both teams lost a season of experience and a year to improve their skills.
With a shorter season this year, players like Dupree feel they start to find their rhythm as the season ends.
“It was really hard to miss last year,” said Dupree. “I was at the top of my game for a while and this break didn’t help my skill level. I came back pretty rusty. Missing a year definitely hurt my skills, but I’m back and I’m on the rise now. “
Despite the gap year, Dupree found ways to improve her game. By playing against teams from the Tri-County North Division several times, she saw how much she grew from game to game.
“I conditioned myself a lot,” Dupree said. “I went out on the pitch as much as I could and showed up every day and did my best. Playing each team twice has been good for me to see how much I’ve improved and how much everyone has improved. It has been a great season.
Greenfield’s Estera Covalenco earned a 7-5, 6-4 singles victory over Warrior Paige King.
In a home and away game, Covalenco relied on his conditioning to secure the victory on a hot day on the pitch.
“It was fun but scary,” Covalenco said. “At first I was trying to get good shots, but I stopped caring because I knew we were both tired, so I just tried to extend as long as possible until that one of us is tired. I could play another two hours if I wanted.
Like most players, Covalenco looks forward to next season when Greenfield brings back an experienced squad.
“It was more of a training season for next season,” Covalenco said. “I hope we can dominate next season.”
Palmer King claimed the first Mohawk Trail victory of the day, beating Phillips 6-1, 6-2 in the No. 3 singles.
Collins and Cronen-Townsend clinched a 7-5, 6-1 No.1 doubles triumph over Warriors Lizzie Lynch and Lydia Foote, giving the victory to the Green Wave.
For players like Lynch – an eighth grader who had no tennis experience prior to this season – this season has been a great cornerstone for years to come.
“I wanted to play last year, but we couldn’t, so it smelled bad,” said Lydia Foote. “I have a whole new perspective now after playing. I thought it was a preppy sport but everyone is so sweet and I love being a part of the team. It’s really fun and I love it. The coaches are great, they know how to start well. A lot has changed during the season. I couldn’t hit a ball when I first stepped onto the tennis court, but now I feel confident.
The final game of the day ended in a tiebreaker, with Greenfield’s Aisha Pruitt-Gonzalez and Rebecca Covalenco proving to be a tied game for Warriors Elias Crowell and Lexi Chasse.
After Crowell and Chasse won the first set, 6-4, Pruitt-Gonzalez and Covalenco responded with a 6-3 win to force a tiebreaker, which was won by Crowell and Chasse, 13-11.