Although the start to the season appeared strong and full of promise, the girls’ tennis team ran into a bit of a rough stretch over weeks two and three.
The Pirates lost their first home match of the year to Granite Falls 2-3. This was a somewhat frustrating match as the team took the #1 singles and #1 doubles matches. The other matches were close and hard fought, yet the Pirates could not find a third win. Granite Falls brought a large team, and all the JVs got matches in, playing extremely well.
At the next match, the Pirates traveled to Wilson High. This was a hard match to evaluate — the cold and windy weather was relentless. Driving over, the light precipitation hinted at a cancellation. But the match carried on with both varsity and JV able to finish their matches. Again, the Pirates held their wins in #1 singles and doubles but were unable to find a third win. Again, the JV teams played well, despite the challenging conditions, and continued to improve their play as they have every week.
With no time to reflect and recover from the last match, the Kings visited Vashon the following day. Back-to- back matches are less than ideal, especially with a team as strong as Kings. However, the Pirates seemed to pick up their play against their stronger opponent.
The Pirates only #1 doubles came away with a win, but all the other matches were close. At the surface, Vashon was left with a crushing 4-1 loss, but in reality, two of the matches were decided by tie breakers, and the other two losses could have easily gone either way. So despite the misleading score, this was a better match for the Pirates; the overall level of play was higher, and the teams were pretty evenly matched. The JV teams again showed a lot of progress and seemed to, for the most part, split matches with a large, deep Kings team.
The team finished with a Friday match at Fife. The Pirates took the third loss for the week — a 1-4 loss. The lone win came at #1 singles. Yet again, the other matches were all close and had the potential to go either way. The JV teams all played and with that gained experience and continued their ongoing improvement.
Despite the lack of wins over the last week, the team has some strong positives going forward in the season. The top of the Pirate lineup seems strong. Lizzie Maciejewski, at #1 singles, and Tobin Vaughn and Lizzie Sutherland at #1 doubles, finished these two weeks with 3-1 records. The rest of the lineup has actually played well at times and is gaining much-needed experience and practice. Additionally, the team has been suffering from a lack of continuity in the lineup due to injuries and illness. As the team advances in the season, the lineup should solidify as Coach Brougham finds the right combinations. This will cause results to become more consistent.
Next week, the Pirates start league matches by traveling to Charles Wright on Tuesday. This match should give the team a clearer idea as to where it is in relation to the rest of the Nisqually League. On top of that, the Pirates also have a home match on Friday against Franklin Pierce before the team takes a week off for Spring Break.
— Pat Mulvihill