Mount Greylock Girls Blank Greenfield in Western Mass Tourney
GREENFIELD Mass. -- Last year, the Mount Greylock girls tennis team went to Greenfield to face the Green Wave in a sectional quarter-final and lost, 4-1.
On Wednesday, the Mounties showed just how far they have come.
Mount Greylock dominated most of the matches and got a gritty performance at No. 1 singles to earn a 5-0 win and a berth in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 semi-finals.
Mia Van Deurzen rebounded from a disappointing first set to earn a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Lily Georgistsa at first singles, personally avenging a loss to the Greenfield ace in last year’s sectional.
But before she overcame her opponent, Van Deurzen had to overcome some butterflies.
“The first set, I was really nervous, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is Western Mass,’ “ Van Deurzen said. “I was putting a lot of pressure on myself.
“But I talked to coach after the first set, and he said, ‘Just have fun. You love this. This is what you love to do.’ That really helped a lot.”
Mount Greylock coach John Jacobbe said the key for Van Deurzen was turning the page.
“Tennis is a funny game where you have to win two sets,” he said. “So after that first set -- good, bad or indifferent -- you’ve got to throw it away. And today she did that.
“And it was a weird second set. She came out and won the first three games, then lost the next three games. And she could have spiraled downhill, but she regrouped in the second set as well. She just took care of business in the third set and played confidently. She’s an excellent tennis player, and she knows it.”
The Mounties also got excellent performances on Wednesday from Hannah Gilooly and Charlotte Sanford at second and third singles, respectively. Gilooly won, 6-3, 6-3. Sanford put her opponent away, 6-3, 6-1.
In doubles, Mount Greylock got a 6-1, 6-1 win from the tandem of Josie Dalsin and Izzy Leonard at No. 1. Ava Simon and Olivia Winters, who had to sit and wait for an open court to open up at the four-court Davis Street facility, finished off their opponents, 6-2, 6-3.
The Mounties improved to 13-2 with the win, an improvement on last spring’s 9-6 campaign. Van Deurzen said that more than just age and experience accounts for the improvement.
“I think that we’re just working together a lot,” she said. “Our mental game is a lot better than it was last year. I think, as a team, we’re more positive and enjoying it more.”
The next stop is a date with top-seeded South Hadley (16-2) in a match that is listed for Thursday on the MIAA website as of Wednesday night.
Win or lose, the experience of making it to the sectional’s final four is a step in the right direction for the Mounties’ program.
“You want to take it one step at a time,” Jacobbe said. “We’re only losing one senior. We know there’s a lot of good teams ahead of us. But right now, we get to play another match and see what we do.
“We want to get better and give ourselves a target of what to shoot at. We get to play the number one seed, see how strong their program is and give ourselves a chance and see what happens.