Girls Varsity Tennis
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Jun 5, 2018
- WARRIORS: 4
CAVE SPRING: 5
Western Girls Tennis Drop 5-4 Decision to Cave Spring in State Semifinals
Match Decided in Final Set of Final Doubles Match
[Scroll down for coach’s quotes and match scores]
The Western Albemarle Girls Tennis team fell to Cave Spring 5-4 at home Tuesday in VHSL Class 3 state semifinal action. The Warriors conclude their 2018 season with a 17-3 record and as Jefferson District co-champions and Region 3C champions.
With the win, Cave Spring (22-2) advance to Saturday’s state championship match against James Monroe (18-3).
Cave Spring jumped out to an early 2-0 lead behind straight-set victories on Courts 1 and 2. Reagan Delp of Cave Spring defeated Western’s Hannah Kearns on Court 1, 6-0, 6-2, and moments later Caitlin Carter of the Knights completed a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Corinne Jennings.
The Warriors fared better on Courts 3-5. On Court 4, Lilly Moore beat Nandini Siriam 6-1, 6-1 to give Western their first point of the match. In short order Anna O’Shea, fighting off the lingering effects of a cold, impressively defeated Grace Holderman 6-1, 6-2 on Court 3 before Sarah Inman defeated Josie Beleher 6-1, 6-1 on Court 5. With those results, the Warriors led the match 3-2.
On Court 6, Peyton Harmon of Cave Spring and Jenny Little of Western were locked in a matchup of contrasting styles. Harmon, employing consistent groundstrokes and opportunistic shotmaking to counter Little’s power game, won the first set 6-2. Little rebounded in set 2 and led 5-3 before Harmon turned the tables and earned the victory, 6-2, 7-5. With that result, the singles matches ended 3-3 and threw the outcome to doubles play.
Doubles action started first on Courts 1 and 2. First off the court were the Cave Spring duo of Delp and Carter, who gave the Knights a 4-3 lead with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Western’s Kearns and Jennings on Court 1.
The Warriors evened the match at 4-4 behind an impressive performance on Court 2. Senior Anna O’Shea and freshman Sarah Randolph Warren, paired up in practice only recently and with Warren seeing her first match action in weeks, blistered the team of Siriam and Beleher, 6-1, 6-2.
The outcome of the team match would be decided on Court 3. Western’s Moore and Little started strongly, capturing the first set 6-3. The Knights’ Holderman and Harmon rebounded in the second set, 6-4, forcing a winner-take-all third set for the right to play for the state championship.
The Cave Spring team, playing consistently and capitalizing on mistakes, jumped out to a 4-1 lead. Moore and Little refused to fold, and with Little finding the groove on her big serve clawed back to tie the set 4-4. The final two games were tense and full of drawn-out points, with Cave Spring’s pair making just enough shots to close out the win, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 and give the Knights the 5-4 victory.
The defeat closed out the team career of Western seniors Hannah Kearns, Anna O’Shea, and Talley Johnston. Kearns recently earned her 100th career victory and the Region 3C singles title, as well as the region doubles title with partner Corinne Jennings. Kearns will play in the state singles and doubles tournaments on Thursday and Friday.
Quotes from Head Coach Ellen Markowitz:
In my eight years as head coach of Girls Tennis at Western, I would have to say this is the toughest loss we have ever had. As I look back, there were a couple three-set 5-4 losses in my first two years in regional finals, and state semis, but this is right up there with those -- as painful as you're going to get. It was heartbreaking, and it hurts, plain and simple. I really feel for our seniors, Hannah, Anna, and Talley. I wanted them to get one [state title]. We were right there, and a couple points away.
Cave Spring has been our biggest rival the past four years. Hats off to them for a great program, and tough teams every year. In singles, their top two (Delp and Carter) are so strong we knew that would be tough to break through there. We know that our strength is lower down and that showed. We took 3, 4, and 5 singles, and big props to Anna, Lilly, and Sarah for great performances. Jenny almost clawed back in at #6 singles, and was up 5-3 in the second set with a chance for the split. She will grow so much from this match, and be a better player because of it.
Doubles was exciting, and again it’s hard to grab the #1 doubles from them. I’m so proud of freshman Sarah Randolph Warren for playing huge at #2 doubles and they did great. I love Jenny and Lilly at #3, and they love playing together. They took the first set, and then Holderman's experience showed, as she and Harmon took the second set. The nerves were going on both sides, and it's a big stage. Cave Spring was able to come through, but our girls gave it everything they had, coming back from 1-4 in the 3rd to tie it up. Unfortunately, we couldn't get it done today.
From another angle, if you step back, we had a heck of a season. We were fortunate to have Corinne come from Covenant, Lilly from Florida, and amazing freshmen like Jenny, Sarah Randolph, and Maya Kelly. We lost four of our top six from last year, and look what we did. We maxed it out, and almost climbed the mountain again. That is good stuff! It was a fantastic journey.
I am so proud of these girls and how hard they fought today, and what a close team they are. They enjoy each other, they play for each other, and when it's all said and done, they will have friends for life from the tennis team. As junior Anna Savage said in the post-match huddle, "while the tennis season may be over, the friend season never ends." That's what it's about.
It's amazing the opportunities we have as a team here at Western. We are grateful to be competing for state titles every year, and I know we will bring more home to Western. We will take this pain and hurt from today with us and use it as fuel and motivation for next year. Hannah and Corinne will be playing on Thursday and Friday in individual singles and doubles, and we have out of season practice starting next week. I’m looking forward to lots of great players coming in next year, including Austin Winslow, Maddie Farmer, Stephanie Hass, Grace Nolasco, and Alison Selverstone.
Cave Spring 5 Western Albemarle 4 - VHSL Class 3 Semifinal
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
at Western Albemarle High School, Crozet
- Reagan Delp (CS) def. Hannah Kearns (WAHS) 6-0, 6-2
- Caitlin Carter (CS) def. Corinne Jennings (WAHS) 6-4, 6-2
- Anna O'Shea (WAHS) def. Grace Holderman (CS) 6-1, 6-2
- Lilly Moore (WAHS) def. Nandini Siriam (CS) 6-1, 6-1
- Sarah Inman (WAHS) def. Josie Belehern (CS) 6-1, 6-1
- Peyton Harmon (CS) def. Jenny Little (CS) 6-2, 7-5
Order of Finish: 1 – 2 – 4 – 3 – 5 – 6
- Delp/Carter (CS) def. Kearns/Jennings (WAHS) 6-0, 6-4
- O'Shea/Sarah Randolph Warren (WAHS) def. Siriam/Beleher (CS) 6-1, 6-2
- Holderman/Harmon (CS) def. Moore/Little (WAHS) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Order of Finish: 1 – 2 – 3