Warde girls tennis holds off rival Ludlowe
The Fairfield Warde girls tennis team finally got a win over its arch-rival Ludlowe on its home soil.
The Mustangs recorded their first home win over their crosstown rival, netting a 4-3 win over the Falcons on Monday at Fairfield Warde High School.
"This breaks the curse," Warde coach Marilyn Jamgochian said. "When they come here, we have not won. I'm very excited."
The Falcons dropped for just the second time this year.
"We're disappointed," Ludlowe coach John Reisert said. "We've been playing better tennis than the tennis we played today."
"I knew this was going to be a tough one," Schneider said. "Alyssa's been playing really well."
Schneider beat McAndrew for the third consecutive year. Schneider had not lost a set in the previous two matches against McAndrew, and it appeared that this year's match would continue that trend as the top singles player for Warde won the first set, 6-4.
But, McAndrew rebounded, behind a strong serve, to win the second set 6-2, setting up an epic third set.
"I was getting discouraged after that second set," Schneider said. "She played really well."
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Schneider and McAndrew battled for more than an hour in the third set, and into a tiebreaker to that Schneider was able to patiently grind out. The match ended 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4).
"There were good compelling matches," Reisert said. "I was very proud of how Alyssa played."
Warde's No. 3 player Marysa Walsh completed her match in the time it took Schneider and McAndrew to play five games of the third set. Walsh polished off Ludlowe's Morgan Hilliker 6-1, 6-0.
Mustangs' No. 2 player Haley Wolf used patience to overcome Ludlowe freshman Daria Efimov. Wolf defeated Efimov with patience, holding her off, 6-2, 6-3.
"She played really well," Wolf said of Efimov. "I was just trying to be as consistent as I could until I found the spot."
Warde won the first set in six matches, but two of those were won by Ludlowe. The Falcons No. 3 doubles team, Taylor Boyd and Liz Searight, fell in the first set, but responded, winning 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 to remain undefeated.
"For them to bounce back after a slow first set doesn't surprise me," Reisert said. "It doesn't surprise me."
Ludlowe's No. 2 doubles team, Dillon Casey and Paige McCormack found some consistency that the girls had not felt thus far this season. The Falcons' pair beat Warde's Abbie O'Hara and Elise Finzi with a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
"I felt that this was the best we've played in a while," McCormack said.
Casey and McCormack were partners as freshmen, and are getting the opportunity to play together again this year.
"It was the first time all season we began to mesh again," Casey said.
In No. 1 doubles, the Mustangs' freshman pair of Hines, Erin and Megan, beat Ludlowe's top-duo of seniors, Brooke Mackno and Layne Rissolo, 6-3, 6-3.
"My first doubles are so consisent," Jamgochian said. "They're just not going to be intimidated."
Despite the loss, Reisert is confident in his squad this week. The Falcons rebounded to beat Bridgeport Central on Tuesday, and will have the opportunity to rebound when they complete a match against Staples today.
The Falcons and Wreckers had been stopped due to rain on April 6 with Staples leading 3-2. But the Falcons lead 5-3 in No. 3 doubles in the first set and the No. 4 singles will start in the third set.
"The completion of the Staples match is an exciting match," Reisert said.
The Mustangs polished off Norwalk yesterday to raise their record to 5-3. Warde will trek to Ridgefield on Thursday at 4 p.m.