Nauset Girls Tennis Holds Off Whitinsville Christian In Preliminary Round

by Brad Joyal

NORTH EASTHAM – As the regular season came to a close, the Nauset girls tennis team kept its eyes on the MIAA Power Rankings.

The Warriors knew they were on the cusp of qualifying for the Division 3 state tournament, but even they were a little surprised to learn that they earned a home match in the preliminary round.

They made sure to make the most of their home court advantage.

Sophomore Anjali O’Brien earned a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Charlotte DeFrancisco in second singles to seal a 3-2 victory for No. 31 Nauset over No. 34 Whitinsville Christian on May 29. Nauset’s first doubles pairing — junior Faye Adams and sophomore Chloe Hand — and second duo — sophomores Callie Murphy and Haley Jackson — both earned crucial wins toward the team’s total.

“It’s great because we were really borderline (to make the tournament) so it was nice to play at home,” Nauset coach Kathleen Tringale said. “People came by and faculty stopped to watch the kids, so it was great to have that support all the way around.”

Adams and Hand earned a convincing 6-2, 6-1 victory over Whitinsville Christian’s top pairing of Mia Besong and Genevieve Tatolli, while Murphy and Jackson cruised at second doubles with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Avery Dertien and Alexi Gilchrist.

“It was really good, especially for our second doubles to get that win,” Tringale said.

“They’ve been working really hard and we’ve had some changes back and forth with the doubles lineup. This seems like a really great combination, so we’re really happy with both lineups, first and second doubles.”

Murphy, a Brewster resident, said it felt good to defend the team’s home court in a high-pressured match.

“[Second doubles] haven’t won a bunch, so it was nice to win by a lot,” said Murphy. “We were under pressure to win because this could’ve been our last game.”

Nauset senior Nicole Boyce suffered a 6-2, 6-1 loss to Ally Weedon in first singles, and eighth-grader Sophia Votteler dropped her third singles match 6-3, 6-3 to Joanna Graves.

Despite being unaware of the significance of her outcome, O’Brien sealed the win for Nauset when she upended DeFrancisco in straight sets.

“I didn’t actually know if we had won the rest of our matches yet, so I just wanted to win my own and hopefully help the team,” said O’Brien, a Brewster resident.

Tringale said the victory was the latest example of O’Brien getting stronger as the season went on.

“She’s really upped her game tremendously — she’s hitting through, she has more power, she’s thinking about the game and playing the angles,” the coach said. “She’s seeing the court really well and has been really working hard at it.”

On Friday, Nauset suffered a 5-0 loss to second-seeded Newburyport, the two-time defending Division 3 state champion, in the Round of 32. The Warriors finished with an 8-10 record.