Last week the Lady Jays had a bitter sweet end to their tennis season (1-12), when they defeated Indian River on Tuesday, 3-2, and lost to Sussex Academy on Wednesday, 4-1.
Before the match, Seaford’s head coach Jaclyn McDermott was hopeful her team could make it two in a row.
“We got our first win of the season yesterday and it was a great feeling,” she said. “Today we have a good chance of making it two in a row. My girls have worked hard all season and I hope it will happen,” she emphasized.
Seaford battled to a 3-2 loss with three out of the five matches going to a tie breaker, but when they lost two of those three tie breakers, the Lady Seahawks took home the victory and finished the season 10-4.
In first singles play, senior Lega Dinga defeated the Lady Seahawks Cassidy Schell, 2-6, 6-3, 10-4 (tiebreaker) to give Seaford and early team point and momentum, but in the number two and three singles Sussex Academy picked up two team points when Katherine Stevenson defeated the Lady Jays Abby Covey, 6-0, 6-1 and Andrea Cabrera followed her teammate with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Jamileth Garcia, respectively.
In first doubles action, Noa Aboutboul and Tess Burke defeated Seaford’s Blindarmy Perez and Yina Diaz, 7-5, 6-7, 7-5 (tie breaker), while the Lady Seahawks’ Parker Cole and Sadie Tunnel won, 5-7, 6-2, 10-5 (tie breaker).
After the match, both coaches were happy with their team’s performance. McDermott emphasized, “We lost but my girls did well! Yesterday we got our first win; coming off a win we were excited for today’s match and for more good competition. Lega (Dinga) has a way of checking out her opponent. Even though she didn’t win her first set she fought hard to come back and win the point for the team.”
“Second doubles today came out strong and really seemed to get into the groove early in the game. Sadly they couldn’t close the deal. Looking forward to having them both back next year to continue to improve their teamwork and skills,” she concluded.
The Lady Seahawks’ head coach, Colleen Bailey, also had praise for her team. “The girls’ overall performance for this match was below average – our first singles player was out with a shoulder injury and our second singles player was out with school testing. I was happy to come out with a win and the girls did their best to overcome the lineup change. We continue to grow as a team each match and improve in various ways as each match passes. Their work ethic is remarkable, as well as their sportsmanship to each other and their opponents. Our goals were to improve our record from the previous season and to improve the depth of the team – which were both achieved as our season is coming to a close,” she said.
“Andrea Cabrera and Kate Stevenson are two players who float between first doubles and second/third singles. They both have shown tremendous growth as players and mentally have improved on their placement of the ball and ‘court smarts’ to lead them to their many wins. Tess Burke is an outstanding doubles player who continues to grow each match. Her kill shot at the net is her signature move. She is a strong player and is willing to play wherever we need her and adapt to each partner she is placed with. Unfortunately, we are unable to compete in the conference tournament this season. We are still in our second year, but we look forward to making a strong impact in the tournament next season,” she added.
“Our doubles performance today was a tough one. We had some new partners placed together and it was an overall learning experience for both coaches and players. They were both able to come out on top with a win, but Seaford put up a good fight and great competition for them. Our team has impressive depth and we are very proud of our doubles who consistently are an important part of our winning season,” she concluded.