Contrary to how their season has played out thus far, it was a slow start Thursday for most of the South Whidbey girls tennis players against Coupeville.
Playing in a match for the first time after a weeklong hiatus during spring break, the Falcons fell behind early in several matches and had to claw their way back into contention. The team went on to win, 5-2, to improve to 6-1 overall.
Earning wins were singles players Bayley Gochanour, Alex Foode, Lucy Clements, and doubles players Iona Rohan and Clara Martin, and Taylor Hamilton and Jing Wu.
Gochanour, a junior, overcame a 5-1 deficit in the first set and went on to win, 7-5, 6-2 over Vallen Trujillo. It’s become a trend for Gochanour to have less than desirable starts to matches.
“I have a bad habit of doing that,” Gochanour said. “I’ve played her before so I was kind of able to pick up on her strategy and weaknesses.”
She said she’s been focusing on becoming more consistent and wearing her opponents down through the course of the match. Gochanour hopes to improve her play at the net and angling her ground strokes to make it difficult for the opposition to return her shots.
Rohan and Martin, both seniors, won two tiebreaker sets, 7-6 (10-8) and 7-5, to defeat Wolves players Payton Aparicio and Sage Renninger. They said they were rusty after having not played together over spring break.
“It was satisfying, but at the same time I feel like we could have done a little better,” Rohan said.
Martin said the duo need to work on their aggression near the net, while Rohan felt her accuracy needed improving. Both are things they think they can address by the end of the season, they said. The pair said it was also a valuable experience to battle through a tight match and walk away as the victors.
“I think it was good to work under stress because it was definitely stressful,” Rohan said.
Falcon head coach Karyle Kramer highlighted Foode’s 6-2, 6-1 win over Coupeville’s Bree Daigeneault as being indicative of her progression this season.
“She’s consistently making strides each week so that’s good to see,” Kramer said. “She’s been working on her serve and getting some points there, so she’s coming along really nicely.”
South Whidbey played Archbishop Murphy Friday afternoon after The Record’s deadline. South Whidbey plays its toughest opponent of the season in King’s on April 19.
“They’re overall looking pretty good to me,” Kramer said. “After we play King’s we’ll know a lot more about where we stand. I’ll know more about who is going to go to district and who is going to go in singles and doubles.”