Greenwich Academy has been one of the premier tennis teams in the FAA for more than two decades and with versatile athletes capable of competing in singles and doubles competition, GA is well on its way to having another spring season to remember.
The first two matches of the season have been exceptional for Greenwich Academy’s young squad, which should be tough to top on the court this season.
After posting a 9-0 win over Westminster in its season-opener, Greenwich Academy raised its record to 2-0 with an impressive 6-1 victory against visiting Rye Country Day School in FAA tennis action.
The Gators swept the four singles matches and won two of the three doubles matches against the Wildcats. At No. 1 singles, sophomore Charlotte Pastel was a 6-1, 6-0 winner for GA against Rye Country Day School’s Ana Petricone.
Pastel displayed a strong serve and a lot of patience against Petricone, who did a good job of retrieving Pastel’s solid groundstrokes.
“My opponent was really good, she did a lot of volleying,” Pastel said. “It was tough to get it past her, but toward the end I figured out my strategy a bit more.”
A member of Greenwich Academy’s squash team, which won the team title at the U.S. Squash Team Championships this past winter, Pastel captured the Under-17 championship at the U.S. Squash Junior Nationals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania last month. She defeated Eliza Schuster in a four-game final.
“It was great, everyone played so well, the competition was super good,” Pastel said of the U.S. Squash Junior Nationals. “I had to step up my level to squeak by those players. It was definitely one of my best days.”
Pastel began playing squash and tennis at around age four and aspires to compete in squash at the collegiate level. She’s impressed with the dynamic of GA’s tennis team.”
“The team is very strong this year, everyone gets along super well and we’re very competitive, which is great,” Pastel said. “I’ve been playing some doubles this year, which I haven’t done in the past, so it’s a lot of fun.”
Grace Genereux, a junior, played at No. 2 singles for GA against Rye Country Day. Genereux is a team captain, along with junior Juliet Winegardner.
In Monday’s match against Rye Country Day, Genereux posted a 6-1, 6-0 win over Colette Sawyer for GA, coached by Elizabeth Schrohe.
“It’s a pretty young team, everyone is enthusiastic,” Genereux said. “We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores, we have a lot of young talent, which is good and everyone gets along.”
Genereux is enjoying her role as one of the Gators’ captains and sees the team achieving plenty this spring.
“It’s my third year on the team, so it’s nice to be more of a leader,” she said. “Tennis can be high-pressured, so playing on a team can be nice, while gaining the match experience.”
“Hopefully, we can place higher in the FAAs than we did last year and hopefully, as a team, have a lot of fun.”
Third singles saw Greenwich Academy sophomore Emily Sherman take a 6-2, 6-2 decision against Caroline Kelly.
“It was fun, she was a nice player and it was fun to hit,” Sherman said.
With a lot of depth, GA’s practice sessions are tough, as competitive challenge matches help keep the members of the team focused and sharp.
“We have a really deep singles lineup and it’s so much fun during practice,” Sherman noted. “I think the team is going to do great, last year we had a solid record and this year I think it’s going to turn out better.”
Freshman Ella Loehnis was a 6-2, 6-1 victor for the Gators at fourth singles. She was expecting to play doubles against RCDS, but stepped in well at the fourth singles spot.
“This is my first year on the team, so it’s super exciting to be playing with people, because I haven’t played GA tennis before,” Loehnis said. “It’s super fun so far, getting to know everyone. “Everyone is nice and we’re all bonded already, even though it’s only been a couple of weeks.”
Loehnis has already displayed her versatility in playing both singles and doubles.
“I was coming in today ready to play doubles, but someone was sick,” she noted. “I was a little surprised to play singles. It was super fun, I like playing both, so I’m pretty flexible. For the season, I think we have a deep team and I’m excited to see how it goes playing the boarding schools.”
In the No. 1 doubles match, Greenwich Academy’s duo of Mia Jones and Elsa Burgess registered a decisive 6-2, 6-3 triumph.
“I thought it was a good match, we learned how to finish the point quickly,” Jones said.
“We were up in the beginning and we lost it for a bit, but we figured out how to get it back,” Burgess noted. “We had to make sure we were going for the shots we needed to go for.”
Yesterday marked the first time Burgess and Jones joined forces.
“It felt good, I like playing with Elsa, our styles complement each other well,” Jones said. “This is going to be a fun season, we have a super talented team.”
“As a whole a whole, one of our team’s goals is putting the shot away and not giving them the opportunity to put the shot away,” Burgess noted.
At second doubles, Greenwich Academy’s Val Cuccolo and Annie McGraw were edged by RCDS in a hard-fought matchup. The Gators’ third doubles team of Isa Packard and Winegardner were victorious, showing stellar chemistry throughout their match.
Packard and Winegardner won their match at the No. 3 doubles spot, 7-5, 6-3, capping a successful day for GA.
Up next for Greenwich Academy is a home match against FAA/neighborhood foe Greenwich Country Day School on Friday at 4 p.m.
Categories: Greenwich Academy, Spring sports
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