Metuchen girls falter in NJSIAA Group I semifinals

WEST WINDSOR — After rolling through the NJSIAA Central Group I Tournament and reaching the state semifinals, the Metuchen High School girls tennis team simply ran out of gas and into a powerful opponent on Thursday as. Glen Ridge ended Metuchen’s run by sweeping the Bulldogs 5-0 at Mercer County Park.

Metuchen was behind from the start as all three of their singles players dropped the first set, winning just two games in the process. All three, however, improved in the second set, but not enough to overcome the Glen Ridge players.

Catherine Popow never got into a groove at first singles as she was upended by Kendall Smith 6-1, 6-3. Catherine’s sister Anna fell at second singles 6-0, 6-4 to Paige Moriarty and Lisa Allgauer battled hard in the second set by succumbed to Katie Frohling 6-1, 7-6.

“They got off to a slow start, but once they settled down, you could see across the board that the scores were much more competitive,” head coach Rob Strauss said. “We had opportunities to win all three singles matches, or at least force a third set, and that’s something I’m extremely proud of. It showed our character and our determination to not give up and I’m so proud of their effort to the last point.”

The doubles squads of Siri Uppuluri and Tiffany Yao, along with Laura James and Christina Michalski, were overwhelmed by Glen Ridge, the scores 6-1, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-0 respectively. But, even with the loss, Strauss knows that it’s an accomplishment to have made it this far.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these girls. They work hard and we knew we wanted to challenge ourselves with some better opponents early on and it helped us prepare for this match today. I couldn’t be more proud of all the hard work they put into this season. It’s a great group of girls to work with,” he said.

Glen Ridge 5, Metuchen 0

Singles: Kendall Smith (GR) d. Catherine Popow 6-1, 6-3; Paige Moriarty (GR) d. Anna Popow 6-0, 6-4; Katie Frohling (GR) d. Lisa Allgauer 6-1, 7-6. Doubles: Maddie Baione and Erin Carr (GR) d. Siri Uppuluri and Tiffany Yao 6-1. 6-0; Tessa Powell and Julia Tolmachyov (GR) d. Laura James and Christina Michalski 6-0, 6-0.

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