CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Despite a valiant effort the Cedar Grove Panthers girls tennis team fell to Belleville 3-2 in what would prove to be a payback game for Belleville.

    “They played their hearts out.  There were some good points back and forth, but unfortunately it wasn’t the outcome we were looking for,” said Head Coach Kirsten Mattesky.

`    The match ultimately would come down to the second doubles spot for the two squads. Cedar Grove fell in the opening set 3-6 to Belleville who notched a number of net points. Belleville rode their solid play to a 6-2 second set and match victory.

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    At second singles Cedar Grove saw a solid effort from Christa Fox. Fox was able to bounce through the first set to a 6-4 victory then dominated the second with a 6-0 win stemming from her momentum. Fox was steady for the whole match waiting out her opponent who made a number of unforced errors.

    “[Fox] was moving her player around, she was bringing herself to the net, her serving was on today, she was all over the court,” said Mattesky.

    At third singles the Panthers got their most battle-tested effort from Lauren Cap. Cap worked for a 6-4, 6-2 straight set victory using a number of net points. 

    “[Cap]’s serving was on.  She was all over the court, moving her partner around and getting hard shots in,” said Mattesky. 

    Belleville battled back refusing to roll over for the Panthers. The Belleville squad collected key wins at the first singles and first doubles spot with scores of 0-6, 4-6 and 4-6, 6-1, 2-6 respectively.  Cedar Grove’s first single player Sofia Laforgia and doubles pairing of Yilin Zhou and Chloe Perez fought valiantly in defeat for the Panthers. 

    “We had some tough points out there it just didn’t go our way,” said Mattesky.

    For Cedar Grove the loss drops the squad to 3-8 on the season. Despite the loss the group seems to be turning a corner with multiple individual match wins in the last three contests. The Panthers have now won more individual matches in the past three games than the previous four. They will look to get back on the winning track when they take on Union City on October 1. 

    “Absolutely the team is trending in the right direction.  I’m still so happy we have a ton of matches left and I’m just looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing how they perform,” said Mattesky.

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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