LOWER GWYNEDD >> The Wissahickon girls tennis team circles one match on its calendar every year — Upper Dublin.
This season, that heavyweight matchup is set for next Thursday. To get properly prepared for their Suburban One League American Conference rival, the Trojans wanted to challenge themselves in their early-season non-league games.
They did just that.
Wissahickon lost to Council Rock North, 4-3, Wednesday afternoon in a hard-fought match that came down to the final set at Wissahickon High School.
“We’re going to face Upper Dublin early on,” Wiss coach Mary Ellen Devlin said. “Typically, you like to play a team like that later in the season — at least later in September when you have a lot of matches under your belt. That’s why we set up some of these earlier non-league heavier matches to prepare for that. That’s going to be a battle and that’s next week.
“(Council Rock North) is a perennial favorite in (the Suburban One League National Conference). So it’s a good matchup. I’m not disappointed, but it’s hard to walk away with the loss when it could have gone the other way in a three-set battle, but they’re three singles are strong players, formidable players and the matches were all pretty decisive. Our’s are going to have to step up a little more.
The Indians won the three singles matches and first doubles while the Trojans took second, third and fourth doubles.
Each team had three wins when the first doubles headed to the third set. With players and coaches from both sides cheering their teammates on, Gianna Vassaluzzi and Abbie Briskin of Council Rock North came away with the 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win to lift the Indians to an overall victory.
“Our first doubles team,” Devlin said, pointing to Sam Sullivan and Elizabeth Kooman as standouts. “That they could answer back after a first set deficit with a strong showing and almost pull it off — I give them credit. Overall our doubles were pretty good. The first doubles showed a lot of heart in a tougher situation.”
North freshman Amelia Horner was the star of the day. She combined power and precision to win first singles, 6-1, 6-2, over Wissahickon’s Jenny Landells.
The loss came one day after Wissahickon won its season opener against Central Bucks South. The Trojans won all seven matches, including a 6-0, 6-1 win in third singles by Rachel Flame.
Up next for the Trojans are conference matches against Springfield-Montco and Plymouth Whitemarsh before facing Upper Dublin.
Wiss finished second in the SOL American last year behind Upper Dublin, which made its District 1 journey much more difficult.
“It was a very similar match to (Wednesday’s against CR North),” Devlin said of Wissahickon’s loss to Upper Dublin last year. “A 4-3 loss. When you finish second in your league, it makes it difficult to go deeper in the district tournament. You simply don’t get that seed. What’s interesting last year and this year, there are several teams that are very comparable skill-wise. It really matters who wins the league. When you get that edge, then you have an opportunity to go a little farther in the rounds of districts.”
Next Thursday’s match could go a long way in deciding what happens later this fall.
Council Rock North 4, Wissahickon 3
1st Singles: Amelia Horner (CRN) def Jenny Landells (WHS) 6-1 6-2.
2nd Singles: Sophie Fischer (CRN) def Julia Friedenberg (WHS) 6-4 6-2.
3rd Singles: Joanna Kwon (CRN) def Rachel Flame (WHS) 6-2 6-3.
1st Doubles: Gianna Vassaluzzi/Abbie Briskin (CRN) def Sam Sullivan/Elizabeth Kooman (WHS)6-2 4-6 6-4.
2nd Doubles: Lauren Kang/Amanda Maltin (WHS) def Bhevane Ambatupud/Isabel Levine (CRN) 6-3 6-3.
3rd Doubles: Hannah Wang/Nicole Zappin (WHS) def Charlotte Rigogne/Sanjene Harihan (CRN) 6-2 7-5.
4th Doubles: Olivia Welsh/Lily Solomon (WHS) def Alison LaPearl/Maggie Herbeck (CRN) 6-4 6-3.
Wissahickon 7, CB South 0
1st Singles: Jenny Landells (WHS) def Abby Caddick (CBS) 6-0 6-4
2nd Singles: Julia Friedenberg (WHS) def Jen Bilker (CBS) 6-2 6-2
3rd Singles: Rachel Flame (WHS) def Allie Hershmann (CBS) 6-0 6-1
1st Doubles: Sam Sullivan/Elizabeth Kooman (WHS) def Bolovich/Leon 6-1 6-1
2nd Doubles: Lauren Kang/Amanda Maltin (WHS) def Pereira/Molnar 6-3 6-1
3rd Doubles: Hannah Wang/Nicole Zappin (WHS) def LeCompte/Tuberty 6-2 6-2
4th Doubles: Olivia Welsh/Lily Solomon (WHS) def Song/Burke 6-1 6-4