Edging Ridgefield in the qualifying round of the CIAC Class LL Girls Tennis Tournament on Friday gave Greenwich plenty of momentum heading into Saturday’s opening round match against No. 1-seeded Glastonbury.
And the Cardinals used the momentum and the lessons they’ve learned from playing such a competitive FCIAC schedule all season long to eliminate the tournament’s top-seeded team.
Receiving four singles victories and two doubles wins, No. 17 Greenwich promptly posted a decisive 6-1 win over No. 1 Glastonbury in Class LL Tournament first-round match held at Glastonbury Tennis Club.
Greenwich (12-7) advanced to the Class LL quarterfinals, where it will visit either eighth-seeded Fairfield Ludlowe or ninth-seeded Simsbury on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
“It was a really good match, I was very impressed,” Greenwich coach Julie Shropshire said. “We had mixed results during the regular season, but we also had great competition. Coming into the tournament, after two or three months of playing solid opponents, we were ready for this tournament.”
The loss was the first of the season for Glastonbury, which entered the match with a record of 16-0. Cardinals sophomore Ivanna Diez de Bonilla continued her strong season at first singles, registering a 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 comeback win against Glastonbury junior Catie Zak.
“She played her best tennis today against a really strong player,” Shropshire said of Diez de Bonilla.
At the No. 2 singles spot, freshman Kyra Dybas was a straight-set winner for Greenwich against junior Annie Bestor Blair, 6-1, 6-4. Third singles saw Greenwich’s Malena Schraa, also a freshman, defeat junior Olivia Lee, 6-1, 6-0.
“They were dominant,” Shropshire said of her Dybas and Schraa. “Malena overpowered her opponent with her shots and Kyra was very impressive.”
Senior co-captain Courteney Sheets capped a singles sweep for the Cards, topping Glastonbury junior Emma Kantor, 6-1, 6-4.
“Courteney played very clean tennis,” Shropshire said. “She played a great match.”
In doubles competition, senior co-captain Abby Shropshire and sophomore Julia Tamis were on top of their game in posting a 6-3, 6-3 victory against Glastonbury’s Mitra Atighechi and Sammy Chung, 6-3, 6-4, at the No. 1 spot.
“Abby and Julia did a lot of talking and were very positive throughout their match,” Julie Shropshire said. “They did a good job of coming up with different strategies to defeat two seasoned players.”
Senior Kira Popa and freshman Emily Weinstein were 6-3, 6-3 winners for the Cardinals at second doubles against seniors Erin Cabana and Anna Radulescu. The Cardinals’ duo led throughout the match on their way to the victory. Glastonbury received a win at third doubles from senior Bridget Corey and sophomore Norah Anderson Orth, who edged GHS sophomores Mei McGuinness/Valentina Rivano, 8-7, 4-6, 10-5.
Against Ridgefield on Friday’s qualifying round on the road, Greenwich got wins from Diez de Bonilla and Sheets in singles play and Weinstein/Popa and McGuinness/Rivano in doubles action.
“Every girl has gotten so much stronger than they were at the beginning of the season,” coach Shropshire said. “They are so happy to be advancing in the tournament.”