Saugus girls tennis falters against Glendale

Saugus' Emily Christensen returns a volley in a matchup with Glendale at Saugus High School Wednesday afternoon. Cory Rubin/The Signal
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Beginning the day with their original starters and a complete roster, the Saugus girls tennis team made some in-game adjustments against a strong Glendale High School Team at Saugus High School on Wednesday.

Saugus’ singles players won five of the nine sets while the doubles teams didn’t fare so well, dropping seven of nine sets on the day to lose the match 11-7.

“They just did not have it in them to win today,” said Saugus head coach Ken Jeffris. “They were down with 102-degree temperature, but it’s not an excuse, both teams played in the same heat. The other team showed up and ours didn’t.

Saugus’ No.1 singles player Emily Christensen opened up the day against the Dynamiters’ No. 2 player and earned a 6-0 victory with ease.

The following set, Christensen went up against Glendale’s No. 1 player in a back-and-forth match. With neither player giving an inch to the other, Christensen battled back after being down 5-4 to force a tiebreak.

Unfortunately, the tiebreak ended in a 7-3 win in Glendale’s favor giving her her first loss of the season. The set ended up being Christensen’s last set of the day as she had to leave due to scheduling conflicts.

Saugus’ Maddie Wiseman returns a volley in a matchup with Glendale at Saugus High School Wednesday afternoon. Cory Rubin/The Signal

After dropping the first set of the day, Maddie Wiseman, Saugus’ No. 2 singles player, rebounded with a meticulous and lengthy second set win against the Dynamiters’ No. 3 singles player with a 7-5 win.

“I noticed that she was very good about keeping up with me so I did my best to pace myself throughout the match and hit to places that I knew she might struggle with like her high-backhand,” Wiseman said.

Wiseman made quick work of her final opponent, capping off the day winning her third set 6-0.

Natalie Ratzlaff, Saugus No. 3 singles player, like Christensen and Wiseman, dropped her only set of the day to Glendale’s No. 1 singles player, picking up 6-0 and 6-4 wins in her other two sets.

“They did what they could under the circumstances,” Jeffris said. “Losing Emily early really hurt us because she didn’t get to play their No. 3, which would have given us another win and a chance at possibly tying this up. But it is what it is and we just have to fight through it.”

Saugus’ Natalie Ratzlaff returns a volley in a matchup with Glendale at Saugus High School Wednesday afternoon. Cory Rubin/The Signal

The Cents’ No. 2 doubles team, Riyana Chhabra and Katrina Yim, began the day with 6-0 win in the first set against Glendale’s No. 2 doubles team pinpointing their weaknesses and using them against them.

They ran into some trouble against the visitors’ No. 1 doubles team and dropped their second set 1-6. The second set was their last set of the day that they would find themselves as doubles partners.

“Their volleys at the net were really good and a big part of doubles is at the net, so they were able to put away a lot of shots which unfortunately went against us,” Chhabra said.

Saugus’ No. 1 doubles team, Alyssa Alvidrez and Katie Denzin, were the only other doubles team to pick up a win, also defeating the visitors’ No. 2 team in their final set of the day 6-1.

“I’m proud of the girls of trying to fight through the adversity of having three girls that started not be able to finish today,” Jeffris said. “It’s a long season, we are going to learn from this and bounce back and hopefully be better at the tournament this weekend in Clovis.”

The Centurions head north for the California Tennis Classic this weekend held Friday and Saturday at various locations in Clovis with Buchanan High School being the host site.

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