girls tennis Rams sinks Vikings
Jenny Loomis and Chloe Sigg hadn’t been paired as doubles partners in the past, so when they joined forces to start their senior seasons with the New Canaan girls tennis team, there was a learning curve.
Now, with the postseason on deck, the Ram co-captains have momentum on their side.
Loomis and Sigg helped lead a clean sweep of the doubles matches for New Canaan, which overcame a strong Westhill Vikings’ squad for a 4-3 victory Thursday at the NCHS courts.
For New Canaan, which is 12-4 and likely the No. 5 seed for the FCIAC playoffs, doubles play and team depth have been a key.
“Our doubles is really good this year,” Sigg said. “We’ve always had strong doubles teams in the past and it’s what we can rely on to win. That’s really what worked out for us today.”
“We lost a lot of people from last year, so our lineup has changed a lot and we mixed it around a little bit today,” Loomis said. “We’re all working hard, we all want to win, and we’ve been winning the matches we should be winning, so that’s good.”
The Vikings, meanwhile, dropped to 11-5 but are also playoff-bound after their best regular season in years.
“This is my ninth year coaching and this is the best season I’ve ever had with my girls,” Westhill head coach Erica Brunner said. “We have a really strong singles lineup and that’s been the backbone of the team.”
That backbone came through against the Rams, as the Vikings won three of the four singles matches.
New Canaan earned its one singles point at No. 4, where sophomore Jordyn Lee defeated sophomore Jackie Kaba 6-1, 6-2, and the Rams then swept doubles for the match win.
“They’re a good team and they’ve got good players, and today they showed why their season has gone really well,” Sigg said of the Vikings. “It was a great match.”
Loomis and Sigg overcame Westhill’s top tandem of sophomore Caitlyn Tyrrell and junior Malina Lasicki for a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 1.
“Our matches kind of go in waves sometimes,” Loomis said. “We do really well for a little while and then we don’t do as well. We lost momentum at the beginning of the first and second sets, but then we got it back. Once we got the mentality right, we were able to win.”
In the No. 2 spot, New Canaan’s Charlotte Sigg and Imogen Smith, sophomores, defeated junior Lexi Schultz and freshman Amanda Smeriglio 7-5, 6-2; and at No. 3, Rams’ senior co-captain Grace Ruksznis and sophomore Natalie Thompson defeated junior Alexa Smeriglio and sophomore Rebecca Friedlander 6-0, 6-0.
In singles, Westhill ace Tamar Bellette, a junior, was a 6-0, 6-2 winner over New Canaan senior co-captain Caroline Mayock, and at No. 2, Vikings’ freshman Martina Kaba defeated New Canaan junior Sophie Gardner 6-2, 6-1.
“My No. 1 is a junior and last year she was almost undefeated at No. 3 — she only lost one match, so this year was a big jump for her, but it was the right move,” Brunner said. “She’s very strong mentally and she never gives up. We’re really proud of the way she’s stepped up to the plate. And my No. 2 is a freshman, she’s had a lot of experience in the USTA matches, so she really thrives on the competition. She’s done really well for us.”
Westhill’s third point game at third singles, where junior Sanjana Nayak topped Ram sophomore Valentina Zamora 6-3, 6-2.
Loomis and Sigg, two of the four seniors on the Rams’ roster, feel like they’re in a good mode heading into their final postseason together as first-year doubles partners.
“We never played together before so it was new for our senior year,” Loomis said. “It took us a little while to figure it out, we had a little rough patch at the beginning of the year, but we’re doing well now.”
“We’re definitely nervous, but we just want to try our best. If we really put ourselves out there and play the way we can, we can go far.” — New Canaan senior Chloe Sigg on the postseason
NEW CANAAN 4, WESTHILL 3
(at New Canaan): Singles: Tamar Bellette (WH) def. Caroline Mayock 6-0, 6-2; Martina Kaba (WH) def. Sophie Gardner 6-2, 6-1; Sanjana Nayak (WH) def. Valentina Zamora 6-3, 6-2; Jordyn Lee (NC) def. Jackie Kaba 6-1; 6-2; Doubles: Jenny Loomis/Chloe Sigg (NC) def. Caitlyn Tyrrell/Malina Lasicki 6-2, 6-4; Charlotte Sigg/Imogen Smith (NC) def. Lexi Schultz/Amanda Smeriglio 7-5, 6-2; Grace Ruksznis/Natalie Thompson (NC) def. Alexa Smeriglio/Rebecca Friedlander 6-0, 6-0; Records: Westhill 11-5; New Canaan 12-4