MIDDLETOWN — Two highschool ladies tennis groups in numerous phases of progress met on the Gaudet Center Faculty courts on Saturday afternoon, and visiting Portsmouth got here away with a 7-Zero Division II win over Middletown.
Portsmouth received its third consecutive match to start out the season whereas the Islanders dipped to 1-2. Half of Portsmouth’s beginning lineup, together with three of the 4 singles gamers, are seniors.
Victoria Millan and Emma Kane, who play No. 1 doubles collectively and misplaced to the Portsmouth sophomore pair of Brooke Morrissey and Kat Deus 2-6, 0-6, are the lone seniors on Middletown’s 18-player roster.
“Final 12 months we had about 11 seniors,” Millan stated. “This 12 months we’re the one two. [Kane’s] additionally my greatest good friend, which helps. We get alongside very properly.
“We talk very properly and we’ve got our days. All of us have our days, however we nonetheless lookup after a win or loss. We at all times inform one another to have enjoyable. In case you don’t have enjoyable on the court docket, you’re not enjoying the sport proper.”
Portsmouth, which compiled back-to-back regular-season data of 8-5, graduated its No. 1 doubles staff from a 12 months in the past. Freshman Talus Nightingale is the one new participant to the beginning lineup, and she or he’s within the No. 2 singles place.
“I feel with the addition of our freshman Talus, our staff has gone to a different degree,” Portsmouth senior Dani Mazur stated. “With Delaney [Lippert] at 1, Talus at 2 and me at 3, we simply appear to be doing so significantly better as a staff.
“We’ve all been enjoying collectively since freshman 12 months. We’ve simply all gotten a lot nearer, the chemistry has gotten higher and this 12 months is our 12 months. I feel we’re going to win all of it. I’ve little question in my thoughts.”
Middletown received a Division III championship three years in the past, a Division II title two years in the past and final 12 months had a 12-1 file earlier than being upset within the playoff quarterfinals. The Islanders have an general file of 46-6 the previous three seasons, however the gamers who led the best way are gone.
“We at all times have speeches earlier than we exit and play and we at all times inform one another — we at all times hold this in our minds — that it’s not all about profitable,” Millan stated. “It’s about being a part of a staff and that’s what makes us so shut.”
“It’s positively a reset for this system,” first-year Middletown head coach Jake Cathers stated. “I’m making an attempt to stability some life abilities — with COVID being a part of the combo — together with private improvement with tennis. It’s not nearly enhancing their tennis abilities. It’s about giving them a terrific expertise in order that they wish to come again subsequent 12 months.”
Portsmouth senior Lippert beat Middletown junior Keara McEnroe 6-1, 6-Four at No. 1 singles. Lippert has been impressed with how regular the Patriots have performed to date.
“It’s just about the identical lineup we’ve had since freshmen 12 months,” Lippert stated. “I feel it’s the expertise in match play as a result of a lot of the lineup apart from Talus are juniors and seniors. So I feel the expertise we’ve had over the previous two years has helped quite a bit. We have now a extremely good lineup of ladies.”
Nightingale upped her particular person file to 3-Zero on the season with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Sam Aldrich. The freshman, who stated she’s been enjoying tennis since “I used to be 2 years outdated, perhaps,” is becoming in properly with the group.
“The staff is totally superb. Everyone seems to be so good,” Nightingale stated. “I’m the one freshman on the staff, which is tough generally as a result of I’m new to all the things. However they’ve simply actually helped with all the things and proven me the way to be a part of the staff.”
Mazur beat sophomore Chloe Christy 6-2, 6-1 at No. Three singles, and Portsmouth senior Marielle Chrupcala received the No. Four singles match over Camryn Ryan 6-1, 6-3.
Abbie Dutra and Melanie Williams scored a 6-2, 6-2 win over Sophia Forster and Lola Grey at No. 2 doubles whereas Jaeley Barone and Dylan O’Connor accomplished the sweep with a 6-1, 6-Zero overcome Laynie Sobin and Ana Marco at No. Three doubles.
“The ladies are having fun with themselves, which is a testomony to them, particularly when you think about it’s a COVID 12 months,” Portsmouth coach Mark Hedden stated. “The ladies have lots of expertise. They’re geeked.”
Middletown’s Millan knew probably there can be no tennis this season due to the coronavirus and she or he’s benefiting from enjoying.
“I’m very grateful that we’re out right here,” Millan stated. “It’s very completely different from the opposite years however simply the truth that we’re enjoying makes me very completely satisfied particularly because it’s my final 12 months. If we didn’t have a season it might break my coronary heart.”