Tennis

No. 2 Conant girls keep streak alive

Win over WLC keeps Orioles just behind No. 1 Moultonborough going into Tuesday’s matchup

  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.
  • The WLC girls tennis team fell to Conant on May 12.

The Conant girls tennis team has yet to drop a match this season, moving to 9-0 after defeating WLC on Monday by a score of 8-1.

On what was a gorgeous, sunny and warm afternoon, the Orioles overwhelmed WLC to remain in second place for DIII. Moultonborough currently sits in first by virtue of having won all 11 matches they have played.

Conant’s No. 1 player, Shannon Bennett, was the lone Oriole to drop her singles match. Bennett lost 4-8 to Madison Bacon, the Warriors’ undefeated sophomore.

“Going forward I’m looking to control the point with consistency,” Bennett said after the match. “I need to have more control over my shots. My serve went well today and I thought I played well at the net.”

The Orioles No. 2 player, Courtney Dillon, defeated WLC’s Taylor Webb 8-3, drawing the match to a 1-1 tie through two games.

“Webb has been very consistent this year and has improved a lot,” said WLC coach Betsie Sullivan.

The Warriors were missing their No. 3 and 4 players, Etta Popek and Naomi Wight, for the match. Filling in for Popek was Tatum VanderHeyden while Jordan Cross played in the number four slot for the Warriors.

“We always seem to be missing somebody. We have had a lot of close losses because of it,” said Sullivan.

Ashley Rogers, Conant’s number three, defeated VanderHeyden 8-0, while Hannah Clark defeated Cross 8-0.

In the final singles match of the day, Hannah Duncan defeated Madison Crawford 8-2. The sixth singles match went to Conant by default due to WLC only having five active players for the match. Heading into doubles play, Conant had already secured the team victory with their four singles wins and default win adding up to the necessary five points.

The first doubles match saw Shannon Bennett and Ashley Rogers defeat Madison Bacon and Tatum VanderHeyden by a score of 8-4, continuing the Oriole’s dominance during the match. For the number two doubles, Helen Soney and Hannah Clark earned the Orioles’ last win of the afternoon by defeating Taylor Webb and Jordan Cross 8-4.

The loss moved WLC to 2-9 on the season, a mark that the Sullivan believes is in part due to a rough winter.

“We have had very few team practices with this messy winter and rainy weather. We need time to develop the girls backhand shots and serves.”

Sullivan gives the Warriors a lot of credit and believes that the future of the program is bright.

“We don’t have any seniors on the roster, this team is doing well. This is a good group of hard-working girls that are not afraid of net play.”

The Warriors will play Monadnock this afternoon.

Orioles head coach Jodi Baker was pleased with her teams performance, but knows that the team has work to do.

“The girls would have liked to have the competition of everyone on the WLC roster today. We still have matches to play. There is not much room for error in division III, you can’t have many losses and make the playoffs.”

Last season, the Orioles finished with a mark of 12-2 and made it to the semis before losing to eventual state champion Profile. The Orioles have five seniors, Allina Bennett, Courtney Dillon, Hannah Clark, Hannah Duncan, and Brittany Rondeau, who have been with the program since they were freshman.

“I have five seniors that are strong leaders and have worked hard to have a season like this. This was the goal and they deserve it,” said Baker.

“This is a great, hard-working group of girls and their experience is paying off this season. The goal coming into the season was to make the playoffs again. We need to stay healthy to do so.”

The Orioles have five matches remaining on the schedule, including one against first place Moultonborough on Tuesday. The Orioles played Monadnock yesterday after press time and will play Kearsarge this afternoon.

Dylan Fisher can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235, or dfisher@ledgertranscript.com.

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