To open the 2016 tennis season, the Glenbrook Apache Netters traveled to Monroe for a dual match with Grace Episcopal .
“We have been limited by various weather conditions,” Glenbrook coach Wayne Orr said. “Our sporadic practice sessions have kept our beginning members (two girls doubles teams) from gaining consistency with shot selection as well as from gaining any confidence with strategy. Our veteran players were pushed enough in returning to focused competitions.”
Sophomore Amelia Christy returned to form at the No. 1 position in her defeat of Lauren Graham 6-1, 6-3. “Amelia’s penetrating backhand cross-court shots and her well-placed first serves provided an edge with each set,” said Orr. At the No. 2 position, senior Catherine Willis continued her inning ways with a 6-0, 6-0 defeat of Taylor Smiley. “Catherine’s having advanced through levels of competition allowed her to put her opponent on the defensive from the beginning. Catherine controlled the match from the start.”
Schyler Powell defeated Mitchell Wood 6-1, 6-3 in the No. 1 match. “Schyler has been focusing on his return of serve as well as his serve,” Orr said. “Each of these aspects of his game provided the advantage in each set.”
The first-year team of Abigail Gilbert at Justin Le seemed out of rhythm as the match began. After dropping the first set 5-7, they took advantage of their opponents’ unforced errors; holding serve, they claimed the second set 6-3. Breaking serve and then holding serve put their opponents on the defensive. Several down-the-line ground strokes allowed them to claim the tie break 10-6, winning the match.
The team of Johnny Law Flournoy and John Curtis Brown, no freshmen, defeated John David Trettin and Brooks Anzalon 6-4, 6-3. “We are over aggressive during the first few games, but we then began realizing that we were more consistent with our ground strokes. Keeping the ball in play forced our opponents to take risks that led to errors. Our speed on the court and our athletic abilities outweighed those aspects of our opponents. To win this closely-contested match righted our focus for play,” said Orr.
Both teams are comprised of first year players. The team of Darbi Walker and Katharyn Woodard defeated Elizabeth Harris and Ella Rose Smith 6-1, 6-3. The team of Evie Walker and Mary-Evelyn King were defeated by Anna Belle Bolton and Natalie Leija 6-2, 6-1. ” I have been experimenting with various combinations for these four girls,” Orr said. “I shall continue to analyze the strengths and weaknesses as the season progresses. Youth and the lack of experience are obstacles in our path, but I am optimistic. s as well as a lack of partnering.”
The Netters open district play on Thursday against the Tallulah Trojans. The match will begin at 2 p.m. on the courts at the Minden Rec. Complex, weather permitting.