Greenwich High

Greenwich High girls tennis team pulls out victory against visiting Wilton

Greenwich freshman Malena Schraa won the clinching match for the Cardinals in their 4-3 victory against visiting Wilton.

With the regular season winding down and the postseason approaching, now is the time for teams to begin playing their absolute best tennis.

The Greenwich High girls tennis team has steadily turned its season around, winning five of its last six matches, including a significant victory Thursday – a 4-3 win against a formidable Wilton squad.

The victory, which could be key in terms of seeding for next week’s FCIAC Tournament, Greenwich upped its record to 7-5 with three matches remaining. Wilton has a record of 6-4 and has four matches left on its schedule.

On Thursday, the Cardinals won three out of the four singles matches and the Warriors took two of the three doubles matchups. Freshman Malena Schraa clinched the match for Greenwich, winning her match at third singles to give the host Cardinals a 4-2 lead in the match.

Schraa posted a 6-3, 7-6 (6) win against Wilton junior Faith Wang at No. 3.

“It definitely wasn’t my best match, I feel like I got tired, but in the last tiebreaker I tried to amp it up,” Schraa said. “She was consistent and every time I hit deep, she hit it back. I’m definitely happy with the experience.”

Greenwich also received singles victories from junior co-captain Courteney Sheets and freshman Kyra Dybas. Sheets was a 6-0, 6-2 winner against Wilton freshman Lily Brown. Throughout the match, Sheets was consistent with her shots and serve.

Greenwich junior co-captain Courteney Sheets was victorious at third singles against Wilton on May 6, 2021.

“I was surprised with how I played, I started attacking more and going for shots and it was working, so I kept doing that,” Sheets said. “I didn’t make as many errors, which was good. I was really happy with my serve, I barely double faulted, which is a problem I usually have. I was getting it in all the time, so it was really reliable.”

At second singles Dybas continued her strong freshman season, defeating Wilton junior Rhea Raghavan, 6-2, 6-2.

“Staying positive was a big thing, especially when we started getting really close,” Dybas said. “Staying strong mentally and moving my feet a lot was big. I’m super excited for the FCIAC Tournament and I’m ready for the challenge. I think it will be fun.”

In the No. 1 singles match, Wilton senior Emma Caldwell registered a 6-2, 6-1 win against Greenwich sophomore Ivanna Diez de Bonilla in one of the longest matches of the day. Despite the straight-set win, Caldwell had a lot of long rallies with Diez de Bonilla.

Photo courtesy of Lulu Diez de Bonilla: Ivanna Diez de Bonilla hits a forehand return shot in her match against Wilton.

“The first set had to be longer than an hour and yet I lost it 6-2,” Diez de Bonilla said. “Every single point was just another fight. Even though I tried coming to the net to end the point quicker, it still lasted over a minute sometimes. It got to a point where we were playing until someone got tired.”

Tested in nearly every match she’s played at the top spot against tough opponents, Diez de Bonilla knows she’s ready for postseason competition.

“I love staying at the baseline and hitting shots from there,” Diez de Bonilla said. “Now I have gained so much experience coming to the net, hitting volleys, hitting slices, hitting overheads.”

Photo courtesy of Lulu Diez de Bonilla: Greenwich senior Abby Shropshire returns a shot during a doubles match.

Greenwich gained a doubles victory from sophomores Mei McGuinness and Valentina Rivas at the No. 3 spot. They won their match, 6-3, 6-4. At first doubles, GHS senior Abby Shropshire and sophomore Julia Tamis were defeated by senior Grace Cahill and junior Annie Caldwell, 6-0, 6-2.

No. 2 doubles saw senior Kira Popa and freshman Emily Weinstein of Greenwich play well in a loss against Wilton’s Olivia Newfield and Vivian Eckert.

Greenwich host Norwalk tomorrow, then visits St. Joseph and Stamford Monday and Tuesday. The FCIAC Tournament’s playdowns are scheduled to begin on Friday.

“I was a little worried, because we lost a few matches, but this win today makes me hopeful for FCIACs and states,” Sheets said. “I hope we get further than we did last time.”

Photo courtesy of Lulu Diez de Bonilla: The Greenwich High School girls tennis team topped Wilton, 4-2, on May 6, 2021.

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