1st singles Macy Hitchcock defeated Annika Alper 6-0, 6-0.
2nd singles Sophia Murphy lost to Shriya Sekar 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.
3rd singles Grace Murphy defeated Gabriella Khaskelis 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3.
1st doubles Tess Murphy and Erika Wilkinson lost to Anika Param and Avital Isakov 1-6, 2-6.
2nd doubles Anna Kramer and Haneet Kang lost to Megan Tan and Sahana Thompson 1-6, 1-6.
On Labor Day, the girl’s varsity tennis team had to travel to Seven Hills in Cincinnati for the 2nd rd of the state team tournament. Eaton went in to the match undefeated but was in an underdog role as Seven Hills was the #4 seed in the tournament and ranked #7 in the State for Div II schools.
Luckily the match started earlier than usual because Sophia and Grace found themselves in three and half hour long matches and probably the most grueling matches of their high school careers. Going into the match, I knew our doubles teams were going to have the biggest challenge of the day. Seven Hills had formidable doubles teams and despite the scores I thought Tess and Erika played well at 1st doubles and the same for Anna and Haneet. The things that we were trying to do from a tactic standpoint, Seven Hills was just able to do better. Hopefully our teams took notice.
As suspected, the match really came down to our singles positions. Which puts some pressure on them but that’s fine because this is what they’re built for. Billie Jean king loves to say, “pressure is an opportunity “. A great mind set if you ask me. At first singles, freshman Macy Hitchcock continues to be a force to be reckoned with. She was able to get through her match unscathed and didn’t even lose a single game against a multiple time district qualifier. As alluded to earlier, the matches of the day were at 2nd singles and 3rd singles with sisters Sophia and Grace Murphy. Had we truly known what we were in for, we would’ve been selling popcorn because these girls battled their tails off for three and half hours in each of the their matches. Unfortunately, the set scores would be opposite of the other. Sophia was able to to win her first set while Grace went back in forth in hers before losing it 5-7. Then in the second set Sophia lost in a tiebreaker while Grace ended up winning in a tiebreaker. Then Sophia found herself down 0-5 in the third and in dramatic fashion starting making some terrific shots and showing mental toughness got it back to 4-5. That’s when the momentum stopped and she lost her serve for a 4-6 third set. All the while, Grace was in a true dogfight for her third set. As Sophia’smatch was concluding, Grace was down 2-3 and trading blows with her opponent. She then really dug in and was able to get the next 4 games and winning her match. Keeping her undefeated at 10-0.
Overall this was a little bittersweet. You had Sophia with a heartbreaking loss in which you just felt awful for her because she realized what was on the line. Then you had Grace come back from a set down against a very strong opponent. I am very proud of the way we fought across the board. And I’m very happy with Sophia”s style of play when the match was on the line. Her opponent was playing a very conservative brand of tennis. Just not trying to lose the match. I don’t coach that way. I just want my girls to think about winning. Don’t worry about losing because it takes you right out of your game. Even though we were underdogs, we knew we had a legit chance to win this match and we’re disappointed in the loss. If nothing else, let’s hope it serves as motivation as we move forward.