Freedom tennis players Arleen Nagra and Sofia Nabyt prevented a Bethlehem Catholic shutout by winning their doubles match, 7-5, 7-6 (12-10), in the Lady Hawks’ 6-1 victory over the Patriots on Monday afternoon at Freedom.
“They did a nice job,” said Freedom tennis coach Mark Sigmon. “Sofia has never played tennis in her life. Arleen has played a little bit. I think we could have won that match a lot easier and quickly, but we just missed some net shots. We’re bringing the racquet back, but it’s got to go up forward. I was very happy with the way they persevered. They stayed with it.”
All eyes were on Nagra and Nabyt, as well as Becahi’s Victoria Botek and Judy Pintor as the number three doubles pairs matched each other point-for-point in the tiebreak.
“I think we won, mostly because we didn’t mentally give up,” said Nagra. “We were trying really hard to keep pushing, trying to get that one last point that we needed. Who’s gonna get it over the net that one last time? It was exhilarating because we had the whole crowd watching us.”
At 10-all, Nagra scored a point at the net that seemed to surprise the Hawks.
“At the net it can be a little scary, but when I hit it, it just went into that one empty space, and I was so relieved,” she said.
With Freedom’s record currently at 5-2, Coach Sigmon expected more individual match wins on Monday.
“[Beca] won matches I thought we would win at some other positions,” he said. “At four doubles, we win the first set, 6-1, and then we went in the tank. In two singles and two doubles, played great the first set, lost 4-6, and got beat 6-0 each one.”
Becahi’s Josie Fiorini and Elizabeth Schock dropped their first set to Khadeeja Hussain and Misha Braski at four doubles, 1-6, and came back to win the next two sets, 6-0, 6-1.
“I asked them what was the difference between the first set and the second set, and Liz said we started switching,” said Becahi coach George Harmanos, “and that was a match where there were lobs the whole time, so it really did make a difference.”
Fiorini also noticed Hussain and Braski hitting to difficult spots on the court.
Schock explained, “I think they started hitting to the sides more and because we weren’t communicating, we both ran, and when they hit it to the other side, we both were running and got lost, eventually, but I had long shots that went behind them and it went on the line perfectly.”
At two doubles, Becahi’s Ava Burkhart and Claire Zaza defeated Liyanna Paiker and Katie Twiggar, 6-4, 6-0, and at one doubles, Becahi’s Hannah Miskovich and Madison Arlengo defeated Ava Kulischenito and Olivia Clutter (score unavailable).
In singles play, Cara Magliochetti won her match against Devon Ulmer, 6-0, 6-1, Lena Windhagen won her match against Navya Manne, 6-4, 6-0, and Madi Lennert won by forfeit, all for Becahi.