Pam Pack netters roll past the Eagles|Romero wins marathon match

Published 2:49 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
The Washington tennis team may have lost a lot of players from last year’s Coastal Conference-winning squad, but so far this season the outcome of its matches have been the same as it was a year ago.
Pam Pack tennis coach Michelle Elks has replaced five of her six seeds from 2009, however, her roster of underclassmen continued to roll on Tuesday as it topped conference foe White Oak 7-2.
Led by lone returnee senior Beth Batchelor, who was named Coastal Conference Player of the Year last season, the Pam Pack (3-1) made quick work of White Oak on Tuesday. Batchelor won her match with Ashley Wilson 6-2, 6-0, No. 2 seed Samara Romero topped Caroline Belmore 6-4, 5-7 (10-5), No. 3 seed Kimberlyn Jones lost to Shannon Hart 6-1, 7-5, No. 4 seed Kiara Smith beat Tia Decker 6-1, 6-2, No. 5 seed Paige Ingalls fell to Stephanie Humphrey 6-3, 6-1.
In doubles play Batchelor and Romero won their match 8-4, while Jones and Ingalls took and 8-5 victory and Smith and Smith rolled to an 8-1 win.
The Pack’s battle with the Vikings was highlighted by Romero’s two-and-a-half-hour long marathon match with Caroline Belmore, in which Romero gutted out a victory.
After the match Elks was praised Romero, who rose from a 10th seed last season to become the team’s No. 2 player.
“She is one that I’m extremely proud of because she literally has gone from not knowing how to play the game but has been absolutely determined to play,” Elks said. “She told me last November that she was going to be in the top six and she worked hard the entire offseason with me and has moved up from double-digits to No. 2.
“She felt the pressure today. She was very nervous going into her tie breaker and was shaking, but she toughed it out. She has gotten so aggressive and so confident; I’m so happy for her.”
Elks may have a young group this season, but said the team has been progressing because the players have the right attitude.
“There is a lot of excitement. I have girls that are wanting to play and most of these girls played all summer long with me in summer league,” Elks said. “They want to get better, they want to improve and that’s exciting. I still want to see some more intensity on the court and that’s what we are working on.”
Elks said that having a quality character No. 1 seed like Batchelor has been a big boost to the team.
“She is a great academic leader and athletic leader,” Elks said. “She also lightens it up a little bit and doesn’t let them get do down on themselves.”
The Pam Pack will be back in action today as it travels to take on Coastal Conference opponent Havelock.