Westchester Edges Falcons in Tennis Battle
Westchester Country Day out of High Point avenged an early-season loss to the O’Neal girls’ tennis team by a score of 5-4 Monday.
It came down to the wire in doubles in dramatic fashion, just as it did in the first meeting between these two teams.
O’Neal’s Grayson Keel dropped her match against Erica Sawyer 10-0 at No. 1, and Maggie Hakas of O’Neal was defeated by Lea Rasenberger 10-3 at No. 2.
In the fifth and sixth singles the Falcons were winners, with Dana Averbook continuing her winning ways by taking a 10-3 victory over Catherine Yourk, and Madison McGuirt defeated Kimberly Watson 10-2.
With four matches completed, the singles matches came down to the wire with Westchester’s No. 4 Claire Councill narrowly defeating Kennon Later. The third singles match between O’Neal’s Sophia Renner and Westchester’s Olivia Greeson took center stage as Renner was narrowly defeated 10-8.
“I was really proud of Sophia and Kennon as seventh-graders taking on upperclassmen as they have all season,” said Falcon coach Carl Bryan. “Sophia was fighting through some shoulder pain, and Kennon is just a fierce competitor.
“Their matches generated so much attention at the conclusion of the singles matches that a crowd of the student body stayed for the doubles matches which created a lot of school spirit for our girls.
“I have never seen such a crowd at a tennis match, and I am really excited that our student body came out to support these girls. It showed our girls that their hard work and success is generating some attention.”
Going into doubles behind 4-2, O’Neal would have to win all of their matches in doubles to take the victory.
Later, who was playing for an injured E.G. Landry, and Keel inflicted the first loss of the season for the Westchester duo of Sawyer and Rasenberger.
“This match was a huge boost for our team since Greyson was without her usual doubles partner, but Greyson did a wonderful job of coaching Kennon on the court and Kennon stepped up big for us,” Bryan said. “That was a great win for us as a team and it displayed that this team has a lot of weapons that can be used at any time in any combination.”
O’Neal’s No. 2 doubles squad of Hakas and Renner defeated Westchester’s Councill and Yourk 8-5, creating a 4-all tie with one match remaining.
In the No. 3 doubles match Greeson and Watson prevailed over Falcon seniors Katie Salloum and Katherine McMurray 8-3.
“In the season opener, Katie and Katherine won the match in dramatic fashion for the team to get us off to a 1-0 start. The pendulum just happened to swing in Westchester’s favor today and that happens in competition,” Bryan said.
O’Neal returns to action on Sept. 25 with a road trip to Harrell’s Christian Academy for a 3 p.m. match.
Information for this article was supplied by The O’Neal School.
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