WINDHAM—Eagle Delia Inman bested Westbrooker Rhiannon Doiron at second singles to secure a narrow, 3-2 victory for her girls on Monday evening, May 14. Windham also topped the Blazes at first singles and first doubles.
“Today was the closest match we’ve had all year,” Windham head coach Katy Dresnok said. “It could’ve gone either way, Windham or Westbrook.”
“First singles and first doubles, they won it pretty overwhelmingly,” Westbrook head coach Mike Makin said. “Second singles and third singles were very close, very even.”
Inman dropped the first set of her bout with Doiron, 5-7, but recovered 6-3 in their second set. The two, both slightly overextended of late, played their third set as a tie-break. Doiron jumped ahead 6-3 in that decisive portion of the match, but then stumbled while Inman surged – Inman battled back and overcame her deficit to triumph 8-6.
“Delia showed extreme mental toughness by winning the third-set tiebreaker,” Dresnok said.
“We didn’t go three sets,” Makin said. “We played two sets and a tiebreaker, because both girls have played a lot, last week. In the interest of not driving them into the ground, we decided to make that third set a tiebreaker, instead of being a full set.”
“[Rhiannon] was up 6-3 in it,” Makin said. “She four chances to win it, and the other girl played tough. She just didn’t go away.
“I would say, in second singles, nothing was given; it was all earned, on both sides.”
Meanwhile, over in first singles action, Windhamite Gabby Smith defeated Westbrooker Maura Rielly in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1.
“Gabby was extremely strong in her forehands and top-spins,” Dresnok said, “which led to a nice victory.”
“First singles was a game of momentum,” Makin said, “where there was three-game swings, four-game swings in a row.”
At third singles, the Blazes’ Dalena Bennett and the Eagles Autumn Hall played the day’s longest match. Bennett eventually took the W, 7-6, 6-3.
“Autumn fought a very long match,” Dresnok said. “By losing the first-set tiebreaker, she had a two-hour match. Her backhand was stronger than ever.”
“Every match Dalena has played has been really close,” Makin said. “I think she’s played five or six tiebreakers already this year. She keeps it close and wins with her feet.”
At first doubles, Eagles Rachel Frost and Megan Fleck paired up to sweep past Westbrook’s Phoebe Adame and Jacinda Im, 6-3, 6-2.
“Megan and Rachel are stronger than ever, with really good net points,” Dresnok said. “Their opponents were equally good at getting back, so many points.”
“First doubles, I felt, was actually much closer than the score indicated,” Makin said. “Virtually every game went to deuce, it seemed. [Windham’s] girls just covered the court really well and won the big points that our girls didn’t.”
Last but not least: Westbrook’s other win, which came at second doubles. Kallie Cyr and Alex Thayer worked together to defeat Susi Krebs and Chloe McVetty 6-0, 6-4.
“Our second doubles has been really strong all year relative to the competition because there’s no big stretch in the talent on our team,” Makin said, “so our number seven is very similar to our number one. We end up being stronger in our second doubles because there’s less of a drop-off for us there. We’re not as stratified; we’re more uniform.”
“Kallie Cyr,” Makin said, “she’s a senior, it’s her second year playing tennis, she’s like 8-1 at second doubles. She’s playing great. They seem to get down, then win the close sets. They did it again: They got down in the first, they came back and won, and then rolled in the second set. It was a very entertaining match.”
“Chloe and Susi, although they lost,” Dresnok said, “played great doubles together, as this was Chloe’s first varsity match.”
Windham advances to 6-4 on the win, while Westbrook slips to 5-4. The Blazes, ranked eighth to start the day, will likely now switch spots in the standings with the Eagles, who entered the contest ranked ninth. Gorham, 9-0, sits in first.
Windham has two opponents left to face, this regular season: Kennbunk/Wells at home on Friday the 18th, and mighty Gorham on the road three days later.
Three matches remain on Westbrook’s docket, before playoffs kick in. The Blazes host Bonny Eagle on Wednesday the 16th, travel to Sanford two days later and welcome Massabesic three days after that.
Adam Birt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.
Windham’s Autumn Hall tangles at third singles.
Rhinannon Doiron narrowly lost her second-singles bout with Windhamite Delia Inman, who battled back from a 6-3 deficit to take the “third set”/tiebreaker.
Gabby Smith won handily at first singles for Windham.
Alex Thayer returns a ball at second doubles for Westbrook.
Kallie Cyr won, alongside her partner Alex Thayer, at second doubles for Westbrook.
Susi Krebs battles at second doubles for Windham.
Rachel Frost volleys at first doubles for Windham.
Megan Fleck volleys at first doubles for Windham.
Rachel Frost and her partner, Megan Fleck, won at first doubles for Windham on Monday.
Chloe McVetty volleys for Windham at second doubles. It was McVetty’s first varsity match.
Jacinda Im paired with Phoebe Adame at first doubles for Westbrook.
Phoebe Adame volleys, one half of Westbrook’s first-doubles duo.
Westbrooker Dalena Bennett volleys at third singles.
Delia Inman returns a ball in her decisive matchup vs. Rhiannon Doiron.
Blaze Maura Rielly fell at first singles to Windham’s Gabby Smith.