Being pushed to its limits twice in two days may be just enough of a challenge for South Whidbey girls tennis.
The Falcons beat Blaine by one match on Thursday and followed suit against University Prep on Friday. South Whidbey won, 3-2, for its 11th victory of the season, thanks to its two singles players and third doubles team.
The third and final doubles match lasted three sets and included a second-set tiebreaker that allowed Colleen Groce and Katherine Read to regroup. Groce and Read were tied 4-4 in the third set with the overall outcome on the line. They pulled ahead with the next two games.
Their victory over Prep’s Cleo Selander and Bella Norelius also handed South Whidbey the team win.
“Colleen and Katherine showed great poise and also some feisty play,” said Falcon head coach Karyle Kramer. “They wanted to win this match and it was obvious. A great comeback for them.”
Hayley Newman fought off Prep’s Rebecca Hasle in the first set, 7-5, then settled into a 6-0 second set. The senior Newman’s victory kept her season perfect.
At second singles, Carlie Newman defeated Prep’s Amanda LaBelle, 6-3, 6-0. She has yet to lose this season.
“Both Newmans had their best challenges yet and needed a little time to get comfortable and settle down in the first sets,” Kramer said. “Obviously they get more confident as the match goes on and today was no exception.”
Playing on consecutive, hot days, South Whidbey’s first doubles team suffered its first loss of the year. Amelia Weeks and Tess Radisch, who is fighting an illness, lost in three sets. Prep’s Mika Inadomi and Madeline Ferry won 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2. The second-set tiebreaker proved to be too much strain on the Falcons, who started the match without much vigor.
“We started off a bit flat and it took them until the second set to find their rhythm and get the right mindset to play another tough match,” Kramer said. “After yesterday’s three-setter, it was tough to come out again and do the same thing.”
South Whidbey’s second doubles match started with a competitive set before Prep prevailed. Falcons Isla Dubendorf and Hannah Calderwood dropped the first set in a 7-4 tiebreaker, then quickly lost 6-1 to Prep’s Hannah Reynolds and Jing Redmond.
The 1A District 1 girls tennis tournament will be May 9 at South Whidbey High School.