Liberty tennis knocks off Emmaus
Liberty’s girls’ tennis team won its fourth 4-3 match last Thursday when the Hurricanes defeated Emmaus, bringing their record to 5-1 after also defeating East Stroudsburg North on Friday, 6-1.
Shivani Patel and Gabby Palermo won the deciding match against Emmaus when they defeated Ivory Gao and Payton McGlory, 6-4, 6-3, at three doubles.
“It was really hard and I didn’t think we were going to make it, but we actually did because we were really consistent,” said Patel. “Their serves and their hits were really fast. We had to go cross court a lot. “[The second set] was when Gabby and I started coming back stronger. We just had to get the ball back into play, they would make the mistakes, and we would win.”
Patel’s strength in that match was her cross court volleys and Palermo’s were her serves and volleys.
“We were really happy and excited,” Patel said. “I feel like we have a strong team and have a chance to go far this year.”
Liberty’s second doubles team of Sruti Tekumalla and Emily Masters also won their match, 6-2, 6-4, against Krissy Heilenman and Riley Stuckey, and at fourth doubles, Jess Long and Aeman Ali won their match for the Hurricanes against Teya Gougoustamos and Shelby Carter, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.
In singles play, Liberty’s Veronica Lynn won at first singles against Mia Columbus, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, but Angie Ronca lost to Jocelyn Chow at second singles, 6-2, 2-6, 0-6, and Margeaux Donchez lost to Misa Hollinger at third singles, 1-6, 6-4, 1-6.
Also, at first doubles, Liberty’s Hemani Patel and Shannon Baughman lost to Alyssa Magavarn and Julia Marks, 1-8.
Liberty coach Chris Conrad sees the possibility of many more close, 4-3 matches in the Hurricanes’ future.
“The teams throughout the district are fairly even,” he said. “We’ve been on the fortunate side of most of our 4-3 matches. All the 4-3 matches we played, we could have easily lost and could have easily won, including that one against Stroudsburg that we didn’t pull out.”
Conrad also pointed out that there is a lot of newness in the district this year with 14 out of the top 16 singles girls gone, thereby making strategy harder.
“Moving forward, Freedom is going to be a close match, I know that for sure. Pleasant Valley is going to be a close match for sure, because these are teams that historically have had strong doubles teams and we have strong doubles teams too,” Conrad said.
“High stress environments, but now my girls are used to all that. They already have a lot of pressure points. A lot of my teams haven’t had that, so it’s definitely interesting to coach, being able to have the girls combat some adversity, and battle back when they’re down and follow through when they’re up in those tight situations.”