Pack sinks Vikings
Hard work tends to pay off and right now the Washington tennis team is reaping the rewards of its efforts as it won its third straight match by squeezing past White Oak 5-4 on Tuesday in Coastal Conference action.
“I feel very strongly that you get what you put into anything in life,” Pam Pack coach Phedora Johnson said. “The girls and I get out here and work hard during practices and we see the results. … This win definitely underscored that philosophy.”
The result on Tuesday was that the Pam Pack (5-4, 4-1) held on to down the Vikings (1-5, 0-3) in a back-and-forth match that Washington finally clinched when No. 4 seed Isabelle Mayo and No. 6 seed Olivia Grimes teamed up to blank Havelock’s Katie Myers and Catherine Faircloth 8-0 in doubles play.
Washington ended singles play holding a 4-2 lead, but when the combination of No. 1 seed Kiara Smith and No. 2 seed Lanie Smith fell 8-5 to Tia Decker and Sara Hambright 8-5, and No. 3 seed Diani Teixeira and No. 5 seed Sidney Harris lost to Sabrina Yager and Taylor Blackmon 8-4, the pressure fell on Mayo and Grimes to preserve the victory.
“Isabelle and Olivia really complement each other well on the court,” Johnson said. “They really feed off each other’s energy.”
The Pam Pack got off to a hot start as it benefited from some strong singles play.
Kiara Smith beat Hambright 7-5, 7-6, Teixiera topped Yager 6-1, 6-1, while Harris pulled out a lengthy match against Laura Milewski 6-2, 1-6 (10-7) and Grimes blanked Chelsea Abup 6-0, 6-0.
Lanie Smith fell to Hambright 7-5, 7-6 and Mayo was edged out by Blackmon, who won 6-6, 7-5 (7-5).
With the Pam Pack wining by only one match, Harris’ ability to win her tiebreaker over Milewski took on added significance.
“Tiebreakers are always thrilling because they could go either way. The girls are wonderfully matched with their opponents and both coaches are waiting with bated breath for the final outcome,” Johnson said. “Sydney was just the better player today.”
Johnson also praised the effort of Grimes, who had a tremendous afternoon as she won her singles match 6-0, 6-0 and teamed up with Mayo to win her doubles contest 8-0.
“I think Olivia was just determined today,” Johnson said. “She was just really on fire and won everything today. She’s got a really mighty serve and I think that intimidates some of her opponents.”
With the win, the Pam Pack has now earned three straight victories and will look to extend that streak to four on Thursday when it plays at D.H. Conley.