Nashoba girls tennis rolls over Hudson.
Nashoba 5 Hudson 0
HUDSON - The Nashoba Regional High School girls tennis team looked to be anything but the lower-seeded team on Friday afternoon at Hudson.
The Chieftains, seeded 10th in the Central Mass. Division 1 Team Tournament, blanked seventh-seeded Hudson 5-0 in a first-round game.
Nashoba got off to a fast start at first singles, where sophomore Kaitlyn Clark downed Hudson's Megan Carney 6-1, 6-0 to put her team up 1-0. Clark mostly hugged the baseline throughout the match, but also made a few successful forays up to the net.
"My serve was pretty good today, and my forehand was good, too," Clark said afterwards. "I didn't have many double faults."
Chieftain senior Valerie Villegas-Hoag finished next, putting her team up 2-0 with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Hudson's Jacqui Rosignol in the second singles match. Villegas-Hoag was playing up, having spent most of the season at third singles.
Villegas-Hoag's strategy was to move the ball around to make her opponent run.
"I was running her around and finding her weaknesses, and trying to gain points on that," she said. "Relying on her inconsistent shots probably helped me the most."
Villegas-Hoag also spent most of her match at the baseline.
"I had to stay back at the baseline," she said. "She (Rosignol) had really powerful shots. She was really good.
"She had pretty consistent serves," Villegas-Hoag said. "They were really nice, but they were returnable."
Within moments of Villegas-Hoag's win, Nashoba senior Emily Huxtable and her second doubles partner, sophomore Katie Biegler, assured victory for the Chieftains with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Hudson's Caitlyn McEntarfer and Lindsay Wade.
Afterward, Huxtable said consistency was the key to the win.
"We really worked on getting our first serves in and our returns in," she said. "Also, we played well at the net and we got the important volleys."
Huxtable, in particular, shone at the net, while Biegler, who was making an infrequent appearance in the lineup, was steady during the volleys.
"We had to do some lineup shuffling today, but we figured we could win anyway because we have a lot of depth and a lot of good players," Nashoba coach Dan Spedding said. "People had to move up and they came through.
"Valerie (Villegas-Hoag) typically plays third singles, but she got a huge win at second singles today," he said. "It's nice when you can count on kids to step up and get you the points you need to win the match.
"Second doubles, too - Katie Biegler was playing in her third- or fourth-ever varsity match," Spedding added. "She played great, and they got the win. It was a big win. We needed both those points bad, and we got them both."
Nashoba seniors Olivia Smith and Caroline Fraser added a little icing to the cake with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 win over Hudson's Lauren Woringortin and Taryn Anastas at first doubles. Chieftain sophomore Colleen Stevenson, who was also stepping into the lineup, then put a punctuation mark on the victory with a 2-6, 6-2, 10-5 win at third singles.
"They (Hudson) were a formidable opponent, and we're happy to be moving on in the tournament," Spedding concluded.
CUTLINE: (1) Nashoba senior Caroline Fraser makes a return in the first doubles match against Hudson. (2) Nashoba senior Emily Huxtable hits a winner at the net during her second doubles match against Hudson. (3) Chieftain senior Olivia Smith displays some aggressive net play in her first doubles match. (4) Nashoba sophomore Katie Biegler makes a return during the Chieftains' win over Hudson last Friday afternoon. (5) Chieftain sophomore Colleen Stevenson celebrates a point.
PHOTOG: Item photos/GRAHAM ENTWISTLE