The Southwood Girls Tennis team earned their first win of the season against the Bluffton Tigers. The skies cleared up early in the day on Friday after a cold rainy Thursday postponed the match against Blackford. The additional practice day for the Knights was exactly what the girls needed to refocus, sharpen skills, and prepare for today’s match.
Highlights of the match include Madison Snyder playing #3 singles hustling for the ball, making some great returns, and landing some very nice serves early in the set. Madi struggled in the second set trying to land serves but collected herself and got back into the game against Lauren McClish. Madi, who usually plays doubles, seemed very comfortable in the new roll and earned her first won of the season.
Doubles play was a nail bitter for both the #1 and #2 doubles players. Number 1 doubles Courtney Andrick and Makenna Norman held on tight to take both sets 7/5, 7/6. In the second set Andrick and Norman came back from 2-5 to win 4 sets in a row. They then continued to play well and stay confident in themselves and their abilities to get the win. The Lady Tigers, Jori Steffen and Cadence Engle were tough components that played very good tennis but came up short at the end of play.
The number 2 doubles team was changed up this evening and had Ariel Benner playing with her fourth partner of the short season. She and Breklynne Swisher struggled a bit at times learning each others moves. However, by the second match they were finding their groove taking the second set 6/4 after losing the first match 2/6. The third set against Emily Mann and Emilee Irwin went to a tie breaker taken by the Lady Knights 7/5. Benner and Swisher both had some excellent serves and returns. Those watching were lucky to see some of the best net play of the season. Benner and Swisher make a good team and hopefully will play more together this season.
Allison Steele, the #1 singles player is continuing to improve. Her opponent, Ava Ringger, was a very strong player that pushed Steele to play some of her best tennis of the season. While Steele did not take a victory, her coaches are happy with her progress Number 2 singles, Makalya Murphy lost to Olivia Johnson 0/6, 2/6. Murphy struggles to string together the necessary points to take the win, this is manly due to arriving at the ball just a second late.
The Junior Varsity team was down to just one member this evening. Anne Ridgeway played #1 and #2 singles, Olivia Funk and Madi Fenstermaker of Bluffton. Anne took both matches 8/3 and 8/2 respectively. Anne’s strong points are a wicked serve that is very difficult to return. Add to that Anne’s love of returning those low, ground hugging balls and she becomes a tyrant on the court. Anne is developing into a very good player and is someone to watch.
#1 Singles Ana Ringger over Allison Steele 1/6, 2/6 L
#2 Singles Olivia Johnson over Makayla Murphy 0/6, 2/6 L
#3 Singles Madison Snyder over Lauren McClish 6/4, 6/0 W
#1 Doubles Courtney Andrick over Jori Steffen 7/5, 7/6 W
Makenna Murphy Cadence Engle
#2 Doubles. Ariel Benner over Emily Mann 2/6, 6/4, 7/5 W
#1 Singles Anne Ridgeway over Olivia Funk. 8/3 W
#2 Singles Anne Ridgeway over Madi Fenstermaker 8/2 W