After a three-match losing streak, the Vashon girls’ tennis team started off Monday’s practice with a much-needed pep talk from Coach Lisa Brougham. Players listened as she explained that the team had to dig deep and find their competitive edge. They had to want to win in order to win.
This talk seemed to reach the team, as a switch in trajectory was evident as the week moved forward.
On Tuesday, the Pirates traveled to Tacoma for an away match at Charles Wright. #1 singles Lizzy Maciejewski and #2 doubles Tobin Vaughn and Lizzy Sutherland both came away with crushing wins.
There were relatively equal skill set matches that resulted in a number of close games for the JV, one of which ended in a Coman tiebreak that the #3 JV players Mira Zike and Sequoia Gregorich won. Finally, the team’s losing streak ended with a win of 3-2.
After the win on Tuesday, the Pirates’ morale was up for the home match on Friday against Franklin Pierce. To kick off, tennis girls celebrated the 18th birthday of #1 doubles player Tobin Vaughn with cupcakes and a song. They then gave a boisterous Pirate cheer and with that were off to start the first matches of the day.
Again the #1 singles and #1 doubles accomplished exceptional defeats of 6-0 and 6-0 by Maciejewski and 6-1 and 6-1 by Vaughn and Sutherland. #2 doubles Chana Gefkovicz and Emme Osborne as well as #2 singles Paisley Lieske had hard-fought losses that could have gone either way. The Pirates came away with another 3-2 win coming from the #3 doubles Ashley Mcarthur and Ava Butler, who had an astonishing comeback from a 1-6 loss in the first set to 7-6 in the second and a final win of 10-8 in the third set tiebreaker.
The JV, in particular, is maintaining its steady upward trend of improvement. The team appears to have recovered from its previous losing streak and continues to make improvements on the courts during practice and in matches.
Most notably perhaps, is the Pirates’ sportsmanship and camaraderie. As the matches take place, there is a consistent buzz of encouraging words, and tennis racket “hi-fives” can be heard between points. If the Pirates are able to keep up this positive energy, many more wins could be in store.
What the Pirates would most benefit from, however, is more wins from the bottom of the lineup. Although the #1 and #2 singles and doubles continue to be strong, little room for error falls on the shoulders of the rest of the team. While the team came away with two wins this week, they were close. Getting those lower levels pulling out some wins would lead to a much more comfortable standing.
That said, this week showed a great recovery by the Pirates. And a shout-out must be given to coaches Pat Mulvihill and Lisa Brougham for pulling their players out of a chain of losses and reviving the Pirate team spirit.
Things appear to be looking up for the team. It will be exciting to see what’s in store once they return from Spring Break and travel to play Cascade Christian on Thursday, April 19.
— Sequoia Gregorich