The Cohasset girls tennis team came into the MIAA Div. 3 South Sectional Tournament as an underdog – at least on paper or the computer screen where they were a No. 9 seed in the sectional.
They obviously weren’t listening as they won their way to the Sectional Final against No. 7 Ursuline Academy, where they were stopped 4-1 to finish the season 13-8, with the bulk of the losses to much bigger teams.
For the Skippers, the loss closed out another season of success on and off the tennis courts as they beat a tough Westport team, the No. 1 seed Sturgis West and Archbishop Williams all on the road.
Against Ursuline, the most exciting matches of the day were in doubles, where both first and second doubles teams played well after all three singles teams were finished.
Cohasset’s second doubles team, Olivia Budington and Josie McDougald won 6-7, 6-3, 10-7, while the first doubles team of Lucy St. Sauveur and Mary Catherine Crumley lost 4-6, 6-0, 4-6.
Singles players Holly Van Etten (No. 1), Regan Thomas (No. 2) and Sophie Swartwood (No. 3) were all stopped.
Cohasset coach Gigi Meehan was more than happy with the way the season turned out.
“Coming into the tournament we didn’t have a great seed, so we had to play some great teams,” Meehan said. “The fact that we made it to the finals is outstanding and bodes really well for next year, because although we lose our first doubles, who are very strong seniors, I keep everybody else and I’ve got a lot back in the warehouse to come out. We have a lot of good players coming up, so I feel confident about moving forward, but I couldn’t be more pleased with how they did this year. I think they played beautifully.”
Meehan felt her team was at its best at the perfect time.
“I think the girls played well, the girls peaked at the right time,” Meehan said. “That’s half the battle too, especially my No. 1. Holly came up for us in tournament so big.”
Meehan credited her doubles teams for big play.
“I think part of the reason we get here is always our doubles. We’re always strong here,” she said. “But our singles players really picked it up and they all played well. Diana Sturdy didn’t play today, but she’s played singles in the tournament and has been someone on the roster who has helped us a lot. It was a good team effort. Everybody won points to get us here, so you can’t say it was just one person or group of people. We mixed it up well.”
Meehan had a lot of confidence in her team, including a prediction that her team was going to top Sturgis and Archbishop Williams.
“That was tough, another great team. That was a good battle,” Meehan said of Sturgis. “He (Sturgis coach Rich Shannon) even said at the beginning of the announcements this is going to be a 3-2 match. Of course I thought it would be 3-2 us, he thought it would be 3-2 him. We edged it out. That one was all Holly, all day. They were very, very solid, but we came to play. Its daunting going into a match and playing the first seed, but as I‘ve said, we’ve played a lot of tough matches during the year, so we were ready. To have Holly step up and win that match in straight sets was awesome. It was the turning point for us. That was a great match.”
Cohasset senior captain Kaitlyn Patterson said the year was a special one.
“We’ve become the closest team I’ve ever played on,” she said. “Just yesterday we got together and made bracelets as a team. We’re close, like family. Some of the girls, you might have saw, were wiping tears, but it’s not the loss, but because we won’t be spending every day together. It’s so fun. It’s the best season every year,” Patterson said. “It’s spring time. We have prom and everything to look forward to as a team. It’s the best way to end the year.”
Cohasset’s other senior captain Lucy St. Sauveur was also happy with the way the season went.
“Coming into the season, I played last year,” St. Sauveur said. “I played second doubles, so it was a different dynamic playing with mostly girls in my grade this year, more than girls above me last year. I was very excited to lead the team with my friend. Kaitlyn and I have been friends so long so to lead the team together was very exciting.”
St. Sauveur felt her team was ready for all challenges, including when they upset Sturgis.
“Looking at the roster it was daunting be such a low seed, but having Gigi motivate us and tell us we need to show up, we can do it. She told us she’s watched us and knew how good we’ve been all season. I’ve always had the confidence our team can make it.”