In a rematch of a Sept. 20 bout between Hart and Saugus girls tennis, Hart once again came out victorious 10-8 in a highly contested match.
Saugus’ No. 1 singles player Emily Christensen won all three of her sets and the entire Centurions singles squad came away with a 6-3 advantage, but Hart’s doubles continued to dominate, winning seven out of nine sets.
While Hart struggled in singles play, Carly Wilkinson defeated Emily Belcher 6-4 and Mansi Sharma defeated Maddie Wiseman 6-3, which gave the Indians a big boost.
“Carly’s win in the beginning of the match set the tone,” said JV coach Eric Olsson, who was filling in for varsity head coach Allan Hardbarger. “Mansi beating their No. 2 player was also huge. I told them before the match, ‘this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, an opportunity to do something special. Go out and get it done.’ And they did.”
The win solidified Hart’s chances of making the playoffs, as they secured at the very least the No. 3 spot in the Foothill League.
“I think we just secured our spot in the playoffs, so it’s amazing to see everyone who came out here with a determination to win and we completed our goal,” Sharma said. “This is a huge win for us and boosts our confidence. Now we know we can conquer whatever comes before us.”
For the Centurions, they got a boost of confidence when their No. 1 doubles team of Abby Bolks and Kenna Henderson defeated Hart’s No. 2 doubles team of Jennifer Russell and Stefani Woll 6-4.
Russell and Woll hadn’t lost a set in Hart’s last three league matches.
“It was really big. We didn’t really know when we were playing but afterwards when we found it we were really excited,” Henderson said. “It was pretty big for us. I think we need to practice as much as we can and work on our placement so we can become more unified with our doubles.”
Hart will face West Ranch on Tuesday, which is undefeated so far in league play.
The Wildcats defeated the Indians in their first meeting this season, but a new sense of confidence has Sharma and her teammates believing they can keep up with West Ranch.
“If we just play how we did today with confidence and determination I think we can get some sets against West Ranch and maybe even tie or win,” Sharma said. “We know how strong their team is but with this momentum and confidence I think we can play really well against them.”
Saugus will look to rebound against Golden Valley on Thursday, Oct. 18 on the Grizzlies’ home courts.