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Inter-Lakes falls to experienced Gilford in girls' tennis

Sophomore Mikaela O’Neil led the Lakers with a solid performance at first singles against Gilford. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
April 18, 2011
GILFORD – After both squads were victorious in opening matches, the Gilford High School girls' tennis team used its team full of returnees to capture a convincing 9-0 win over Inter-Lakes High School on April 14.

"Everyone had to move their feet a little bit better and be more active after our first match and I think we did that today," said GHS coach Hermann Defregger after the win.

Gilford got its first point at number two singles, as sophomore Charleyne Panner defeated I-L's Tona Lilley, 8-0.

"A lot of number two's struggle with Charleyne and you can see she's a lot more mature out there this year as a sophomore," Defregger said.

The Lakers were playing without number one singles player Galya Martin, who is sidelined with an illness for the early portion of the season, and Ariana Gunderson (injury) at number four. Without the pair in the lineup, I-L shifted its squad up, with sophomore Mikaela O'Neil grabbing the top singles slot and Lilley competing at number two.

"Even at full strength, this would've been a tough match," said I-L coach Steve Langevin. "In some ways it was good to have this one early in the season and hopefully we'll be healthy down the road."

Gilford's Katelyn Achorn made it 2-0 after her 8-0 win over Kim Ryan at number four singles, while the Eagles also picked up wins at numbers three (Jennifer Daviault), five (Olivia Broderick) and six (Sarah Anderson).

The match of the day was played at first singles however, as a pair of sophomores stayed close throughout the match before Gilford's Cheralynn Corsack edged O'Neil, 8-6. Corsack led 3-2, 5-4 and 6-5 before finally holding off O'Neil for the win.

"Mikaela has a wonderful forehand so you really have to watch out when you play her," said Defregger. "Cheralynn's backhand has improved tremendously, as has her demeanor, and that was one of her big strengths today. But if Mikaela plays like that going forward, she will definitely succeed."

Langevin was also impressed with O'Neil's efforts despite playing through an illness.

"She was definitely a bright spot today, playing up at number one and staying right in the match," the I-L coach said. "She really stepped it up against a tough opponent who is probably one of the better players she'll see this year."

Corsack and Panner teamed for a win at first doubles, as the pair of sophomores beat O'Neil and Lilley, 8-3, in a well-played match despite a tricky wind.

Daviault and Achorn picked up an 8-2 win at second doubles over Ashley Hood and Ryan while Broderick and Anderson defeated Valy Plaza-Erazo and Megan Reid, 8-2, to close out the day at third doubles.

"The biggest thing I'm trying to get through to the kids is to play to their advantages," Defregger said. "If you're athletic, move around and make your opponent have to keep up. If you hit the ball hard, put yourself in position to be able to do that."

While the Eagles edged Stevens, 5-4, in the season-opener earlier in the week, Defregger was much more pleased with the way his team played the second time around.

"If they played like this the other day against Stevens, it wouldn't have been as close," he said. "But first match of the year, the kids are nervous and they haven't been outside much due to the weather so I was happy with the improvement."

Inter-Lakes pulled out a 6-3 win over Wilton-Lyndeborough in the season-opener on April 11, as O'Neil, Lilley, Ryan and Plaza-Erazo earned singles victories.

"That match was a really good experience for the new kids and they were able to get some confidence under their belts," said Langevin. "Seeing some success right off the bat can only bode well for the future, especially with how inexperienced of a team we have."

Martin Lord Osman
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