Sporting WCA

Tennis Loses A Close Match

This last Wednesday, the Wildcats Varsity Tennis Team lost a close match to Parkway West 4-5 with wins from sophomore Kiley McKee, freshmen Josie Christen and Alicia Hu, and from the doubles pair Kiley Mckee and Hattie Means.

Even with the team loss, the match of the night goes to Alicia Hu for the Cats who had a stunning comeback win to keep hope alive. After going up 3-0 in the first set, Parkway West’s Ava Larson came back with 5 games of her own to take the lead. they traded the next two games and so Alicia was down 0 sets to 1.

In the second set, Hu jumped to a 3-0 lead again. Her opponent held her serve but Hu responded with two more wins of her own to go up 5-1. But then the Longhorns player started to claw back. She beat Hu in deuce in 2 of the next 3 games and won the third in 4 straight serves. The crowd started to think, “here we go again. She’s going to blow another lead.” But Alicia had more important things in mind than just preserving her 1 game lead, saying, “It was so hot out there, I wasn’t paying attention to the score. I was just trying not to die.”

However, her strategy, if you can call it that, worked. She held her next serve to take the second set 6-4 to force a tiebreaker. Tiebreakers in non-tournament singles are first to 10 points, win by 2. The two players held their serves for the first 6 points, but then Hu caught a break. Larson put in a beautiful serve that Hu somehow returned. The ball was not hit hard and it looked like Larson was going to easily put away Hu. But Larson mishit her shot and gave Hu time to recover. Hu forced Larson to fend off a passing shot that resulted in a high, slow lob that was the perfect opportunity for Hu to break a serve, and she did not miss her chance. She put a ferocious overhead into the left service box to give her the lead 7-6.

After a long rally on her next serve, Hu was able to get Larson to hit the ball long giving her a huge 2 point advantage. But she couldn’t be too comfortable. Larson had come back before and she wasn’t afraid to do it again. With the Wildcats down 4-3 (in total match wins), and only one other match remaining, all the pressure was on Alicia to give the Cats a chance at victory. Larson took the next 2 points to tie it up at 8 all, but alicia stayed cool. She played an excellent point to regain the lead, and then had an awesome service and kill to complete her come back.

Although the Wildcats would lose the final game in straight sets, there was a lot the Cats can take away from the matches, “We need to play with the same intensity [Alicia] had from the start,” Hattie Means said after her loss, “Sometimes we give them free points with careless mistakes and those will kill you in a two set match, or any length match.”

In the doubles matches (doubles are first team to 8 games), the Wildcats #1 team Caroline Hinrich and Alicia Hu fell 8-2 and the #3 team Julie Griesediek and Katelyn Davidson lost 8-5.

The #2 team Kiley McKee and Hattie Means dominated their opponent with a 8-1 victory thanks to a very strong service game. Hattie had a stretch of 5 serving points that were all aces.

The Wildcats next match is at home this afternoon, August 25 at 4:00 vs Nerinx Hall.