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Singles players' sweeps lead South Whidbey tennis past Granite Falls
South Whidbey's four girls tennis singles players won their matches in straight sets to lead the Falcons over the Tigers of Granite Falls 6-1.
The match at South Whidbey High School was the Falcons' first match of the season. South Whidbey's two previously scheduled matches against Bellingham and Friday Harbor were canceled due to rain.
Top singles player Hayley Newman blanked her Tiger opponent 6-0, 6-0. The Falcon junior competed at the 2A state tennis tournament last year and has set her goal to return this season.
Senior Jessica Cary defeated Courtney Maxfield 6-0, 6-1 in the second singles match.
Sophomore Amelia Weeks defeated Breanna White in a third set tiebreaker 6-2, 6-7, 10-6.
"Breanna White was actually a strong doubles player for Granite Falls, and she settled down and started playing smarter tennis in the second set," said Falcon head coach Karyle Kramer. "Amelia was tested but kept her composure and remained patient enough to get the win."
The decision was made to play a tiebreaker rather than a full set because the match was getting late, Kramer said, and the team outcome had already been decided in the Falcons' favor.
Falcon freshman Carlie Newman beat Brittany Young 6-1, 6-0.
The only match the Falcons dropped was at third doubles in a third-set tiebreaker that went to extra points. Falcon double team Katrina Layton and Carol Jenkinson lost 2-6, 7-5, 13-15 to Sierra Murdoch and Rachel Mow. The Falcons' duo rallied from nearly losing early in the second and third sets. In their first varsity match, Layton and Jenkinson were down 8-2 in the tiebreaker - only two points from losing.
"They fought back but ended up losing; just two points decided the match," Kramer said.
The top two Falcon doubles teams won in straight sets. Seniors Claire Hofius and Kalie Stayskal defeated Sara Rood and Bailey Ainley 6-1, 6-2. Senior Tessa Chiarizio and Lucy Rock defeated Lauren Brough and Kelsey Systma 6-1, 6-1.
Kramer highlighted her team's relative inexperience. Of the 30 girls on the Falcon varsity and junior varsity teams, 14 are new to playing tennis. Two of her top players, Cary and Stayskal, first played tennis as freshmen.
"So you never know, picking up the racquet for the first time where you might be in 2-3-4 years," Kramer said.