Greenwich last won the FCIAC Girls Tennis Tournament title in 2012 and with each passing match, it seems like this is the year it will break through for its first conference championship in more than a decade.
There’s still plenty of work for the Cardinals to do, but they are now two wins away from capturing the conference tennis crown, after sweeping Westhill, 7-0, in the FCIAC Tournament quarterfinals, held Tuesday at Greenwich High.
No. 1-seeded Greenwich kept its perfect record intact with the victory over eighth-seeded Westhill. The Cardinals host rival Darien, the No. 5 seed in Thursday’s FCIAC semifinals. The Blue Wave are the two-time defending FCIAC champions. They won the 2022 FCIAC championship by beating Staples.
Against Westhill, Greenwich once again, showed its depth and talent in singles and doubles competition on its way to raising its record to 17-0.
At first singles against Westhill, GHS junior Kyra Dybas pulled out a 6-3, 1-6, 10-5 win over Isabel Jakes.
“It was tough, she was really good,” Dybas said. “I just tried to stay consistent and keep trying. It was a challenge, she was good.”
Cardinals coach Julie Shropshire is accustomed to seeing Dybas win tight matches.
“Kyra has been doing very well with the third sets and tiebreakers as has most of the team, so that makes me happy,” Shropshire said. “When I see our players win third sets and tiebreaks that tells me they are mentally strong and fit.”
Ivanna Diez de Bonilla improved her record to 17-0 on season, registering a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Westhill’s Sophia Alexander at the No. 2 singles spot.
“I can play better honestly, but overall, I played pretty decently,” Diez de Bonilla said. “We’re playing Darien and I’m excited. I haven’t been challenged much this entire season, so I’m excited to have a harder match.”
Diez de Bonilla knows what the team must do to keep advancing in the postseason.
“Just staying focused, we have what it takes,” she said. “As long as everyone is playing their game, we should be pretty set – we should be ready.”
Junior Lilly Foley gave Greenwich another win at third singles, sweeping Alison Foley, 6-0, 6-0. At No. 4 singles, Malena Schraa, a junior, posted a 6-2, 6-0 victory against the Vikings’ Maddie Rosenhaft.
Greenwich’s No. 1 doubles team of senior Julia Tamis and junior Emily Weinstein were 6-1, 6-2 winners against Sarah Kaplan/Emma MacPherson.
At No. 2 doubles, freshman Caitlin Mahoney and sophomore Yume Inagawa were victorious once again, notching a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Westhill’s Teji Ravant/Kelly Ortiz.
Third doubles saw sophomore Emme Pecorin and freshman Maddy Wilber earned a dominant 6-0, 6-0 victory against their Vikings foes.
“Our doubles are very strong,” Shropshire said. “Second and third doubles have not lost all year and first doubles have done really well. They have good chemistry and they have done really well. It’s a deep team.”
During the regular season, Greenwich defeated Darien, their semifinal-round opponent, 5-2.
“Darien has a very strong team, so we are going to practice and be ready to go,” Shropshire said.
“They are going to be more of a challenge as a team,” Dybas said of Darien. “I’m looking forward to seeing how that’s going to play out.”
The Cardinals had a winning season a year ago, but have improved their record significantly since then.
“I started with this team three years ago and they were a young team and I saw the potential in them,” Shropshire said. “The returning girls, they are focused and working really hard. For me, it has been very rewarding to see these girls grow from one year to the next. To have a big turnaround from one year to the next has been great.”
Categories: Greenwich High, Spring sports
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