Glencoe, Hilhi wage an epic tennis battle decided by tiebreaker

What a way to pick up the first victory of the season.

Last Wednesday, the Glencoe and Hillsboro girls tennis teams played about as close a match as can be played. After the final point had been earned in all eight varsity matches, the host Crimson Tide and Spartans emerged tied at 4-4. And they remained tied based on the first tiebreak criterion, as each team also won nine sets.

That meant that the match came down to games won, and on that standard, Glencoe came out ahead, 78-72, allowing the Tide to clinch their first team victory of the season.

“The last match, it was kind of the tell-all, and they were taking forever,” Glencoe coach Ashley Schneider said about the third doubles match. “I don’t know how they could see, it was getting so dark. And then it started to rain a little bit too. I was thinking, ‘Are we going to get this done?’”

Indeed, they did get it all done, but just barely. In another indicator of competitiveness, the entire contest ran for about four hours, not ending until close to 8 p.m., when the light was rapidly fading. Two of the matches, at second singles and third doubles, went to three sets each, and two others were close two-setters.

And that final match, at third doubles, was a pivotal one, as the entire contest wound up ultimately hinging on it. The Hilhi tandem of Rachel Felton and Julissa Mark ultimately prevailed over Sushumna Canakap and Maddie Ogden, 6-3, 4-6, 5-7. Being the last match of the day, it lifted the Spartans into the 4-all tie with Glencoe.

But interestingly, because it went to the maximum three sets, it also allowed the Tide to even the match up on sets at 9-9, forcing the contest to go to the games tiebreak. If Canakap and Ogden had fallen in straight sets instead of in three, Hilhi would have wound up with one more set win overall and would have taken the team victory.

Instead, Glencoe did, and so even though Canakap and Ogden lost, they also helped the team win.

“It was kind of backwards that way,” Schneider said, chuckling.

Glencoe picked up its wins from Olivia Burke, Miranda Donker — a three-set victor against Alicia Hernandez — and Aiyana Turner in the first three singles matches and from Hannah Gerber and Vanessa Alvarado at first doubles.

The Spartans countered with victories from Dominique Woodland at fourth singles, Mary English and Bethel Amare at second doubles, and Giovanna Cardella and Chiarra Konenann at fourth doubles, in addition to the Mark-Felton win.

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