The Amsterdam Lady Rams tennis team got key wins in two crucial singles matches to defeat the Hudson Falls Lady Tigers 5-2 on Monday afternoon at Amsterdam High School, and remained undefeated in the Foothills Council.
Four of the five singles players for the Lady Rams are seniors. Molly Monge, Prabha Singh, and Olivia Fiorillo all won on Monday, but the decisive match was won by freshman Natalie Flint, who is in her third year on the Amsterdam varsity team. Flint was a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 winner over Caitlin Whiting sealing the victory for the Lady Rams.
“We really needed this match,” Amsterdam coach Amy Waddell said. “Natalie played well and pulled it off. She did a good job for us.”
Flint’s quickness on the court helped her break Whiting’s serve at 5-4 in the first set. The freshman’s powerful serve then helped her take the first set. Whiting proved to be a tough opponent and matched Flint point for point in the second set with her ability to cover the court, finally breaking Flint’s serve at 4-2. Whiting took the second set, but Flint won the first three games of the deciding third set, and then broke Whiting’s serve at 4-2. Whiting broke back to close the gap at 4-3, but a pair of cross court winners by Flint helped her take the next game, a back and fourth battle that went all the way to deuce. Flint then held her serve and sealed the win for the Lady Rams.
“I felt I had more confidence,” Flint said of her match. “I got tired half way through, but I was able to push though it. I think it would have been easier if my serve was a little better.”
Flint began playing with the varsity team as a seventh grader, and has been part of Amsterdam’s summer tennis program.
“She’s a third year freshman,” Coach Waddell said. “I’m hoping for good things from her in the future. She plays year round, all season.”
While Flint may be making her case for the future Lady Rams number one singles player, she’s had plenty of good examples to follow. The current Lady Rams number one singles player, senior Molly Monge was a straight sets winner 6-0, 6-0 over Eliza Hogan, and AHS number two singles player Prabha Singh also won in straight sets 6-1, 6-1, over Emily Baker. Meanwhile, Amsterdam’s Olivia Fiorillo had a fight on her hands at number five singles with Hudson Falls’ Cassidy Arlington.
The first six games of Fiorillo’s match were all a break of serve. It was Fiorillo who finally held serve to go ahead four games to three in the first set. A hold of serve by Arlington and a pair of breaks knotted the first set at six games each sending it to a tie break. Fiorillo got her serve in and outmaneuvered her opponent to take the tie break 7-1. Fiorillo then opened the second set taking the first three games for an early advantage. Fiorillo broke Arlington’s serve at 4-1, and later at 5-2, and then held her serve to win the match, 6-2 in the second set.
Amsterdam also got a win from its number two doubles team of Helen Flint and Emily Yandik who were 6-4, 6-0 winners over Neavah Hernandez and Sam Beldeu.
Hudson Falls got wins from their number four singles player Jess Burch, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Brianna Ziobro, and from their number one doubles team of Hailie Casey and Vegas Pickard, who were 6-1, 6-2 winners over Bella Agresta and Malia Colwill.
Amsterdam (5-0 Foothills Council, 6-1 overall) is off to a good start in a busy week that will take them to Scotia- Glenville on Tuesday, to Queensbury on Wednesday, and finally to Glens Falls on Friday, a stretch that has them facing some of their toughest opponents of the season. It all starts with a match against their division rival Lady Tartans. The Lady Rams know they have to be at their best.
“We’ve been working hard and we’re prepared to face our biggest match,” said senior Brianna Ziobro.
“As long as we stay positive we can do great things,” added fellow senior Olivia Fiorillo.
Start time for the match at Scotia- Glenville High School is scheduled for 4:15pm.