Cohasset outlasts Martha’s Vineyard girls in state tennis tourney

Wendy Wen of Martha's Vineyard played the decisive fifth match in the state sectional semi-final game against Cohasset. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard high school girls tennis season came to a grueling, agonizing end at the Scituate Raquet Club Friday afternoon.

Cohasset’s Hannah Rawson rallied from one set down to defeat Wendy Wen 0-6, 6-1, 6-0 at third singles and give the second seeded Skippers (19-2) a 3-2 win in the MIAA Division 3, south sectional semi-final, played out in four venues over two days.

With the match tied 2-2, late on Thursday evening, the third seeded Vineyarders (18-3) had to head for Woods Hole to catch the 9:45 pm ferry home. At that point, Wendy Wen had won the first set 6-0 and was down 1-4 in the second.

Friday afternoon, Wendy and coach Connie McHugh returned to Cohasset to complete the match. Due to the fluctuating weather conditions, the marathon semi-final that started Thursday indoors in Weymouth, moved to the Scituate Middle School, then to Cohasset High School, and on to the Scituate Raquet Club.

Coach McHugh praised her senior Wen, who had to play alone in front of a passionate and partisan Cohasset crowd. “She did remarkably well to keep her composure, playing on four different courts in front of all those people,” the coach said. “She represented Martha’s Vineyard in a very eloquent way. She was as poised as she could be.”

The match started in Weymouth with the doubles matches. The teams split the two matches. Caitlin DeAngelis and Gabrielle Lemoine defeated M.V.’s Alyssa Adler and Dylan Brockmeyer 7-5, 3-6, 1-6 at first doubles. Vineyarders Julia Cooper and Annabelle Hackney edged Meredith Spofford and Kate Sookiesian 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 at second doubles.

Samantha Potter took the court next and lost 6-0, 6-0 at first singles to Emily Davis, one of the top players in the nation.

Throughout the season, Coach McHugh has stressed maintaining a positive energy on the court. Rather than leave the court, Potter stayed out until second singles teammate Annie Burton was finished with her match against Emily Smith.

“Samantha did her job,” the coach said. “She played some excellent points against a tough opponent and then stayed on the court until Annie was done. That was her job and she did it.”

Burton had lost the first set 6-3, but rallied to take the match 6-3, 6-3.

The positive energy, in turn, carried over to Wendy Wen, who played her best tennis of the season in winning the first set against Hannah Rawson, 6-0.

“She played out of her mind,” coach McHugh said. “Her teammates were calling her Sharapova, she was just cracking the ball. After the first set, Wendy came over to the fence and said, ‘I can hardly believe what’s going on.’ I said, ‘Don’t worry about it just keep playing.'”

Unfortunately, on the second day of the match, things did not go her way and another great girls season came to an end after 18 wins, a second straight Eastern Athletic Conference title, and another MIAA south semi-final appearance.