The score was Cate: 9, Carpinteria High: 6. The game totals had Cate +7, but one more win would guarantee victory. Nearly three hours into play, only the third round of doubles play remained.
With senior captain Victoria Herman pulled with heat exhaustion after the second round, her sister Eva and substitute Kate Schroeder got down 3-0 in a hurry. Meanwhile, on the second court, Cate’s #1’s Kate Dehlendorf and Summer Christensen were in a bind at 1-4, after having just lost a close tie-break set in the second round. On the first court, #3 duo Emma Liberman and Cecelia Sanborn were locked in a tight match that looked headed for a tie-breaker.
Kate Schroeder and Eva Herman fought back to 2-3, but then Carp High took it up a notch and closed that match out. Ten minutes later and almost simultaneously, Liberman/Sanborn lost 5-7 and Dehlendorf/Christensen finished 2-6. The final score was 9-9, 75-77. We’d lost by just two games.Since no one swept their sets 6-0, 6-0, 6-0, it would be easy to say, “if I had just done this, or she had just done that,” but their is another side to it that’s worth pointing out:
- Pharibe Pope won two matches in her high school singles debut
- Victoria Herman gutted out two match wins with her sister when she very easily could have not played at all. They played their best matches of the season.
- Emma Liberman and Cecelia Sanborn chased lobs, poached volleys, held their nerve under pressure, and took the Carp #1’s right to the edge
These are not necessarily the players who get the most press and that tells me that we’re growing as a team. In the past, we have been extremely reliant upon strong performances from our top singles players (and we’ve had a good number of them in my six years with this team).
To be sure, this is a brutal defeat. It’s also an experience that this particular group of girls is going to come out the other end of in a stronger position.
Set your calendars: Rematch on October 21st @ Carp High…it’s gonna be a barn-burner!