Spartans Duo Stuns Western Mass
Carly Shafiroff and Hailey Higgins claim the Western Massachusetts doubles title
June 14, 2016
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“Is it finally over?” is what Carly Shafiroff said after a bye, a win over Agawam, a victory over Longmeadow, and both Ludlow teams to finally win a WMASS doubles championship. The number five seeded pair of senior Carly Shafiroff and junior Hailey Higgins beat the odds by upsetting the top seeds in the Western Mass doubles tournament.
After advancing to the finals where they would play Ludlow, (the number three seed), the lady Spartans’ approach to the tournament began to pay off. Shafiroff stated, “We wanted to work on things we couldn’t work on in practice and really have fun.” And fun is what they seemed to have when they came out on top of Ludlow’s duo with a score of 7-6 (7-5), 6-3. The dynamic duo of Higgins and Shafiroff overcame all doubts to be the final pair standing.
The duo, who have been playing together for three years, really proved that their hard work has paid off. Shafiroff stated that her experience with Higgins has been “going strong since my sophomore year.” In the spring of 2014, Higgins and Shafiroff were paired as a second doubles team when they helped their team to a Western Mass championship.
Moving on to better things, the pair really worked hard throughout their three years together to get them to the point where they are today. Playing out of the seemingly small Berkshire County, these two have only seen a handful of teams play at the level of the girls in the doubles tournament. “They [Ludlow} got everything back, so it kind of took a while to adjust,” Shafiroff stated. The way that they capitalized, as Shafiroff explained it, was by “staying consistent” and “having them make mistakes.” Which was seemingly a good approach with their advantage in “pace (of the ball), and strength.”
Shafiroff explained that a big part of the game of tennis centers abound a player’s ability to remain cool under pressure. According to Shafiroff, they did a good job with “staying aggressive at the net” as well as “being consistent.” This was key to the Spartans doubles pair as they moved on throughout the tournament. With every match being competitive and lasting what seemed like forever, the duo made sure to keep calm as every point was scored. “How did we win?” was the first thing that flashed through her mind. It seemed every point went into deuce and they really accomplished a great feat as the final point was scored.
Since this is Shafiroff’s final year in a Spartan tennis uniform, she was very pleased for it to go out with a bang. You can take out this sentence since it’s no longer timely! For Higgins, who has one more year on the court for Monument and she is also looking forward to soccer and basketball. These two teammates are sad to be parting after three full years of competitive play together, but they are excited for what is yet to come. The season isn’t over, and with work still to be done, you have to know this duo will be giving it their all.