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Friday, May 30, 2014

BG can’t defend tennis title, but at least it showed up

George Scione

Something is missing this week. Searching high and low, and it’s nowhere to be found.

I’m a little disappointed in those six Wilton-Lyndeborough seniors that volunteered to be part of the search party. They skipped out on us in our hour of need, and the search team had to wave the white flag. ...

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Something is missing this week. Searching high and low, and it’s nowhere to be found.

I’m a little disappointed in those six Wilton-Lyndeborough seniors that volunteered to be part of the search party. They skipped out on us in our hour of need, and the search team had to wave the white flag.

Who needs those guys, anyway? Oh, that’s right; their Warriors teammates, first and foremost. Too late to that party.

And as far as the search party goes, it doesn’t matter in the end. The search for Bishop Guertin’s girls tennis team was called off Thursday.

Wednesday’s opening round came and went with no sign of BG on any Granite State tennis court.

It appears all those rumors about the Cardinals not qualifying for the Division I tournament were actually fact. As in the Cardinals, as average as they were throughout their 8-6 season, didn’t even get the chance to defend the Division I crown.

Four straight undefeated, championship seasons and bust.

Second-year coach Barry Ndinya knew it would be a long and challenging season from Day 1.

“It’s going to be an interesting season,” said Ndinya after his teams last practice heading into match play. “It’s not going to be as easy as it has been the last few years. We still have some great players at the top, but we aren’t as deep all the way down the lineup. This could be a challenging season for us.”

From that first match, Ndinya’s prediction came true. The Cardinals’ 68-match winning streak was snapped on opening day in an 8-1 road loss to Bedford.

It was a tough team to open the season with, especially since the Cardinals had lost four of their top players to graduation, and the one remaining ladder player from last season, Lauren Hayward, missed the April 6 match due to illness.

Freshman Grace Goyette came up big in the No. 1 slot to keep BG from being shutout. She battled for a 9-8 (7-1) win.

But there was still a chance to get into the tournament with one week remaining in the regular season.

Unfortunately the Cardinals’ bubble burst in a 5-4 loss to Concord on May 14.

The Crimson Tide won the tiebreaker and grabbed the eighth and final playoff spot with that win. Of course, they opened the tourney with a 9-0 loss to top-seeded Bedford.

It came full circle, as the team that snapped a 68-match win streak also snapped the back of the team to officially knock BG from tournament contention.

The high school tennis tournaments just didn’t seem the same this week. Something was most definitely missing.

George Scione can be reached at 594-6520 or gscione@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Scione on Twitter (@Telegraph_BigG).