Post-season advantage: Falcons

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In the last week of regular-season play, the girls on South Whidbey High School's tennis team won three meets, but were nonetheless disappointed.

Attempting to stack four makeup dates in four days, the Falcons beat North Cascades Conference rival Lakewood on the road and at home Monday and Tuesday, then came home again to rout Blaine 7-0. But when they traveled to Sedro-Woolley High School to play the only solid competition they've seen all year, they came home with their racquets still in their cases when rain canceled the showdown.

"Both of us wanted to play badly," said Tom Kramer, the Falcons' coach.

The Sedro girls are the only team to have beaten the Falcons this year. After Wednesday's home meet against the Borderites, the Falcons had compiled a 9-1 record and lodged themselves at the top of the NCC heap.

Not that this was particularly difficult.

Hoping to give some of his second-string varsity players a challenge, Kramer mixed the Falcon lineup a bit for Blaine. But that didn't extend play by much. At Number 1 singles -- a spot filled much of the year by senior Jenny Saephan and sophomore state competitor Jenny Newman -- sophomore Amy Vogt won 6-3, 6-1. Newman, who took the second singles spot for the day, blanked her opponent in a two-set win, while classmate Megan Roosen-Runge won 6-1, 6-0 at third singles and Chelsea Miller 6-1, 6-1 at fourth.

Doubles play was over almost as quickly. The only match that proved a challenge for the Falcons was a 6-2, 7-5 win pulled off by seniors Paige Oliver and Molly Fox.

On Monday and Tuesday, the Falcons dominated Lakewood twice. Meeting the Cougars for the first time this season in the Monday road matchup, most of the South Whidbey girls took their matches without losing more than three games. Getting into tougher tangles were Number 2 singles player Vogt and Number 3 player Sonya Morphew. Vogt managed to win her match 7-6, 6-3 after an early scare, while Morphew lost hers 6-7, 4-6.

At home against the Cougars, the story was almost the same in a 5-2 team victory. Vogt and junior Maya Kocian played the only long matches of the day as both went to three sets in South Whidbey's only losses. Vogt won the first set 6-1 before falling 2-6, 6-7, while Kocian took only the middle set of three.

Also finishing up this week was South Whidbey's junior varsity team, which, like the varsity girls, had their only losses this year against Sedro-Woolley. The team finished with an 8-2 record after a home loss Thursday.

With the last of the regular meets out of the way, the Falcons start playoffs Thursday when NCC teams come to South Whidbey for a sub-district tournament. Play starts at 10 a.m.

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