KERNERSVILLE — Bishop McGuinness kept playing well as it nears the midway point of its season.
The Villains swept North Stokes 9-0 in Northwest 1A Conference girls tennis Thursday afternoon at Fourth of July Park to stay undefeated and maintain their spot atop the conference standings.
“I do think everyone played very well,” Bishop coach Catherine Lassiter said. “We practiced trying to hit the ball to the corners at practice and to where we’d put cones out on the court. And I asked them today to try to do some of that in their matches, and I asked them and they said yes,” she said with a smile.
“And we practiced overheads and more of the net game. We’re trying to get them more aggressive in the doubles because in these very close matches it always does seem to come down to somebody winning in doubles.”
Lindsey Bergelin, Michelle Petrangeli, Katie Dasher, Lourdes Lopez, Izzy Ross and Allie Dennen won their singles matches in straight sets for the Villains (5-0 overall, 3-0 conference). Petrangeli/Dasher, Bergelin/Lopez and Ross/Dennen also won handily in doubles.
“I think we played really well,” Petrangeli said. “I think we played well as a team, which was good to see. We set each other up at the net, and we had fun.”
“We communicated more than usual during our match,” Dasher added. “And it definitely showed on the court.”
Bishop has been a perennial contender, reaching the NCHSAA 1A regional semifinals seven of the last eight seasons, advancing to the regional finals four times in that stretch and winning state championships in 2014 and 2015. But this year’s team is largely newer and younger.
Although seniors Petrangeli and Dasher are the only ones with significant experience, freshman Bergelin, junior Lopez, and sophomores Ross and Dennen have fared well so far in matches that have included 4A opponents West Forsyth and Northwest Guilford and strong 1A foes Mount Airy and East Surry.
“I think we’re doing really well — obviously we’re undefeated,” Petrangeli said. “We’ve had a lot of new players this year. I think three of our top six are new, so I think they’ve adjusted really well — especially since we’re like halfway through the season and we’re about to start rolling here shortly.”
“Even though some of our team’s on the younger side, it’s definitely stronger than I’ve seen it before,” Dasher said. “So, I’m super excited about that.”
This season, which will be limited to a 14-match maximum, will be notably different, however. The dual-team playoff is out this year, replaced by regional and state championships determined by the individual tournaments. So, the Villains will continue to build toward a strong finish.
Bishop has three matches next week, starting with Monday’s match at North Stokes before traveling to Winston-Salem Prep on Wednesday and hosting South Stokes on Wednesday.
“I think we just have to stay positive,” Petrangeli said. “I think a big part of this game is the mental aspect of it. So just everyone working by themselves as individuals and working on our doubles too because a lot of times our matches will come down to that.”
“And just take it match by match,” Dasher said. “So we’re happy with a win tonight but we’re still focused on the matches coming up next week. Every match counts. So if we lose one, just stay positive because we still have doubles and stuff.”
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BISHOP McGUINNESS 9, NORTH STOKES 0
Lindsey Bergelin (BMHS) def. Chandler Sizemore 6-1, 6-0; Michelle Petrangeli (BMHS) def. Kathryn Collins 6-1, 6-4; Katie Dasher (BMHS) def. Emma Hooker 6-0, 6-0; Lourdes Lopez (BMHS) def. Ada Hassan 6-0, 6-0; Izzy Ross (BMHS) def. Madison Chaney 6-0, 6-0; Allie Dennen (BMHS) def. Emma Gunn 6-1, 6-0
Petrangeli/Dasher (BMHS) def. Sizemore/Hooker 8-1; Bergelin/Lopez (BMHS) def. Hassan/Chaney 8-1; Ross/Dennen (BMHS) def. Gunn/Lola Shelton 8-0