May 8, 2019
The Southwood Girls Tennis team traveled to Blackford for a make up match on Wednesday. This was a great match-up and showed how much the Lady Knights have improved over the season. While not able to bring home a win it was not from lack of effort or talent as many games went to deuce repeatedly before a point being earned by either team.
One the best pairings of the evening was between our #3 Singles player, Madison Snyder and Blackford’s Calista Johns. In the first set the girls tied at 6/6, played on to a 8/8 tie, and continued play in a tense tie-breaker. Snyder had some excellent serves and some long playing volleys that proved to be the downfall of Johns, giving Snyder the first set at 7/4. During the second set Johns’ was not able to play to the same level giving Snyder the second set 6/0. Snyder has only been playing at the varsity level for a few weeks and is proving to be quite an asset to the team.
Number two doubles play this evening was also a new configuration. Anne Ridgeway, who usually plays number 1 singles on the JV team, was paired with Shyla Judy. The two started a little slow as they learned each others rhythms and moves on the courts. However, it was not long before the had the kinks work out. They played against the much larger team of Caitlyn Morgan and Lydia Thompson. The Lady Knights, neither of whom are over 5 foot tall, looked tiny in comparison and had their coaches and the fans a bit worried over the match-up. Judy and Ridgeway proved they could handle the Lady Bruins taking the first set 6/4. The second set did not go in their favor losing 4/6. The new doubles team was not ready to give up and fought a tough battle winning 6/4 in the third set. This was an exciting match to watch as Judy and Ridgeway worked to control the placement of their returns keeping them away from Thompson when she was at the net and hitting to her when she was playing back. This proved to be the winning combination in overpowering their opponents.
Number one doubles, Courtney Andrick and Makenna Norman, played against Kayleigh Clevenger and Skylar Stephens. The Lady Bruins took first set 5/7, Andrick and Norman took the set 7/5, and the Bruins took the third set 6/2. Clevenger and Stephens had a play combination of two volleys and a net smash that Andrick and Norman could not return leading to their lost.
Allison Steele and Tori Baker paired off in the number one singles competition. Baker’s serves and returns were too much for Steele in the first match with Baker scoring 6/0 in the first set. Steele played much better in the second set earning 4 points before losing 4/6. Ariel Benner who usually plays lead for number 2 doubles played her first match as number 2 singles. She is a power hitter that played well against Kyran Williams scoring in both matches. The smaller court and no practice as a singles player contributed to her lost in both sets 1/6.
The Junior Varsity team was limited to one player this match due to injuries and illnesses on the varsity squad. The lone JV player, Faith Napier made a good showing scoring 4 points against Blackford’s Jenna Nelson in her first match and 2 points against Hailey Morris in her second. Napier’s serves and returns are greatly improved from the beginning of the season. She is a steady player whose concentration on the court is helping to improve her game.