South Whidbey freshman Mary Zisette’s debut as a varsity tennis player was short-lived.
Rain made the Falcons’ season-opening home match against Oak Harbor on March 14 brief. The drizzling began around 4 p.m., just 30 minutes into the match. Zisette did, however, perform well enough in the time she had to impress her doubles partner, senior Anna Lynch.
“I thought she did awesome,” Lynch said. “It’s a lot of pressure to be a freshman in your first match on varsity so I thought she played really well. We were down but we tried our best.”
The Falcon duo trailed Wildcats Emma Wezerman and Emily Brown 2-5 in the first set. But Zisette showed strength in her volleying and serving skills. One of Zisette’s goals entering the match was to be solid in serving, and having done that was a positive sign, she said.
“It really helped my confidence, I wasn’t as nervous,” Zisette said.
Falcon head coach Karyle Kramer said the errors Zisette made during the match were to be expected from a first-year player.
“Mary is a freshman, she doesn’t have a lot of match experience,” Kramer said. “I felt like Anna was trying to connect with her and keep things level. It’s promising.”
Kramer said both the Falcons and Wildcats knew the match would be a risky prospect with rain predicted on the forecast, but decided to go through with the match anyway.
The season opener was a sobering but also enlightening experience for the Falcons’ top singles player, junior Bailey Gochanour. She faced Oak Harbor’s Tamia Rios, who led 5-1 before rain stopped the match.
“I need to work on finishing the points and finishing the game,” Gochanour said. “She was good. She’s very consistent. I think I’m getting impatient and just hitting it out too fast.”
Despite trailing Rios, Kramer was impressed with Gochanour’s ability to adjust to her opponent mid-game. She also found promise in singles player Carmen Warwick, a junior, and doubles tandem Iona Rohan and Clara Martin. Martin and Rohan, both seniors, were deprived from almost certain victory on the day. The pair led 4-2 when the match was postponed.
“We were on good momentum towards the end and getting pumped,” Martin said.
“It’s good to be back and playing,” Rohan added.
Kramer said they hope to reschedule the match with Oak Harbor to be played today at 3:30 p.m.