Playing four matches this week, the Greenwich High School girls tennis team is indeed, in the midst of a busy portion of its schedule.
And halfway through their busy week, the Cardinals are pleased with their results.
Greenwich won its second straight match Tuesday, topping Trumbull, 7-0, in an FCIAC matchup. The Cardinals won each match in straight sets against an improving Eagles squad. Sophomore Ivanna Diez de Bonilla continued her strong start to her season at first singles for Greenwich, posting a 6-3, 6-3 victory against Symphony Akinloye. Diez de Bonilla has faced a tough challenge in nearly all of her matches at the top spot thus far.
“The competition has been very difficult,” Diez de Bonilla said. “I honestly did not expect the No. 1 singles players to be this good. Every team has a good No. 1 singles player. Two so far have been almost two hour matches.”
Greenwich’s top-ranked singles player embraces the level of competition she’s gone up against each match.
“I get to practice coming to the net, which is good for me to practice,” Diez de Bonilla said. “This Thursday, I am playing New Canaan and I know the singles one player, she has a good ranking and I know it is going to be a good match.”
Second singles saw freshman Kyra Dybas capitalize on crucial break points on her way to registering 6-2, 6-1 triumph against Trumbull senior Leilani Brown. Dybas has enjoyed her role as one of the top singles players on the team as a freshman.
“It’s really great to be on the team and we have a great group of girls,” Dybas said. “Everything is a learning opportunity and we’re trying to get better.”
In Tuesday’s match, Dybas used her solid serve to her advantage.
“My serve was pretty strong today, so I tried to focus on that,” Dybas said. “Especially the return to – trying to start the point and get a rally going.”
Another Cardinals freshman was successful at third singles, as Malena Schraa won her match against senior Libby Liggins, 6-1, 6-0. Schraa has shown consistency at the third singles spot in her first season on the squad.
“I’m having a really good time and our team is strong,” Schraa said. “We all have a good relationship with each other, which definitely helps in all our matches.”
Schraa has honed her skills on the tennis court since she was a youngster.
“I’ve been playing the sport since I was four and competitive since I was six, so I definitely know a lot about the sport,” Schraa said. “I’m very impressed with our team. Everyone is doing a good job and we are excited.”
Junior co-captain Courteney Sheets was victorious at fourth singles for Greenwich. She was a 6-1, 6-0 winner in her match.
“I’m getting used to playing more consistent, especially playing outside with the wind, it was kind of a challenge,” Sheets said. “Today, I just had to get the ball in and be consistent and try to spin my serve in more, because there was a lot of wind.”
Greenwich, which lost against Staples and Fairfield Ludlowe, plays against a formidable New Canaan team on Thursday and visits Darien on Monday.
“We’re improving so much already, even though we’ve had some losses,” Sheets said. “We’ve had some good, close matches, which have been fun to watch.”
In doubles play, the Cards’ No. 1 tandem of senior co-captain Abby Shropshire and sophomore Julia Tamis beat Ally Szabol and Ritika Birje, 6-0, 6-1. Greenwich’s No. 1 doubles team has rounded into impressive form in their first season together.
“Abby and I communicated really well together and we took advantage of some short balls and we were able to take chances,” Tamis said. “We both came up at the net and we definitely played really well. Our Our communication was great.”
Said Shropshire: “As the season has progressed, we have learned how to play with each other more. I think we have gotten good at setting each other up and with our communication. We know each other’s style of play and it has helped us improve our game.”
At second doubles, senior Kira Popa and freshman Emily Weinstein recorded a 7-5, 6-0 win. In the No. 3 doubles match, sophomores Sydney Floch/Madeline Minichetti gave the Cardinals a 6-1, 6-4 victory. Greenwich travels to New Canaan on Thursday, then hosts Norwalk on Saturday.