It didn’t take long for the Delone Catholic duo of Olivia Auffarth and Anastasia Galysh to realize there was no other courts being used as their match continued.
In fact, as the two went back to the court for a third and deciding set against Bermudian Springs teammates Amanda Hollabaugh and Beka Gerringer, it was apparent the team match would come down to that final set.
“I could tell, but I just tried to focus on Anastasia and the other team,” said Auffarth. “I was nervous, but it was OK.”
“It was very nerve-wracking,” added Galysh. “We both made it good through first and second sets, but the third set is where it all came down and that was pretty scary.”
Making the challenge more difficult was the fact that the two don’t play together very often — and they dropped the first set, 6-2, forcing a comeback.
Yet, they fought back in style taking the middle set 6-2, before putting likely their best performance of the day together in the third in a 6-3 win that earned Delone a 3-2 team victory.
Hollabaugh and Gerringer broke serve to win the first game of the final set, but Galysh and Auffarth rallied to win the next five, including a pivotal fourth game that went to deuce four times.
“It just mattered more so we were really more focused and excited too,” Auffarth said. “It felt good. It definitely helped our confidence after that comeback.”
Not giving up, Hollabaugh and Gerringer survived one match point before a Galysh smash ended the action.
“(Dropping the first set) was upsetting, but you’ve got to keep going and keep that out of your mind. Think, ‘We can do it.’ And get back up there,” Galysh said. “It was very hot, but we persevered through it. We had our energy up and kept going. Water was a very big participant in that.”
Eagles coach Jim Greene said that playing a deciding set with everyone watching is a pressure situation.
“It’s very tough on the kids. That’s one of the reasons we don’t really inform the kids before that last set,’ he said. “We didn’t want that to impede their play. We wanted them to play in the most normal way possible.”
The Squirettes got wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles with Olivia Roth taking a 6-0, 6-1 decision past Annie Miles and Madi Rollins topped Haley Sullivan by the same scores.
However, after a close first set, Bermudian’s Cheyenne Lehman got by Makayla Rollins, 6-4, 6-0. The Eagles’ twosome of Olivia Snelbecker and Alex Bickert were awarded a forfeit at No. 2 doubles with
the Squirettes being down a player, which also forced Galysh and Auffarth together.
Delone improved to 2-1 in Division II and 2-2 overall, while Bermudian (0-3, 0-5) is looking for its first win of the season. However, Greene is happy his team is gaining experience every time they are on the court.
“The difficulty for us is, unless they have really played tennis before they get to high school, we do not have a lot of time to train and do all the technical things you have to do in tennis to play at a high level,” he said. “A lot of those (top players) have started before they got to high school and they developed the ability and skill at those levels. By the time they get to high school, they are really strong.”
Delone Catholic 3, Bermudian Springs 2
Singles: 1. Olivia Roth, DC, def. Annie Miles, BeS, 6-0, 6-1; 2. Madi Rollins, DC, def. Haley Sullivan, BeS, 6-0, 6-1; 3. Cheyenne Lehman, BeS, def. Makayla Rollins, DC, 6-4, 6-0.
Doubles: 1. Olivia Auffarth-Anastasia Galysh, DC, def. Amanda Hollabaugh-Beka Gerringer, BeS, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3; 2. Olivia Snelbecker-Alex Bickert, BeS, won by forfeit.