Pam Pack tennis opens season by dropping Aces

Published 8:20 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2018

EDENTON — The Washington girls’ tennis team traveled to John A. Holmes to open the season Tuesday not knowing what to expect from several newcomers to the team, but that uncertainty was quickly cast aside as the Pam Pack won seven out of nine matches over the Aces to pick up its first victory of the year.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect at first because we have some new people. But I think that they did really well,” Washington head coach Miranda Whitley said. “There were several tiebreaks in singles and some of these girls have never played tiebreaks before, so I kind of had to help them through the tiebreaks, but they pushed through.”

Returning senior Claire Shepherd, back in her role as the team’s No. 1 player, set the tone for Washington, defeating Anna Bass 6-1, 6-4. Fellow senior Kayla Clark followed with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Jessica Copeland. John A. Holmes cut into Washington’s lead when the Aces’ Sydney Morris defeated Mia Pagnani 6-1, 7-6 (1), but Abbi Tucker put the Pam Pack back on track with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Lilly Boyce.

John A. Holmes’ Lilly Bunch edged out Mary Emma Holscher 6-3, 5-7 (10-5), in what was Holscher’s first competitive match. After dropping the opening set, Lilly Frances Lobos rallied to beat Caroline Stoltz 5-7, 6-2 (10-2) to close out the singles portion of the competition.

The Pam Pack made it a clean sweep in doubles. Shepherd and Pagnani brushed aside Bass and Morris 8-0, while Clark and Tucker followed by beating Copeland and Boyce 8-2. Sophomores Holscher and Lobos closed out the day by defeating Bunch and Stoltz 8-0.

Whitley pointed to the leadership shown by Shepherd as key to helping the Pam Pack open the season with a win.

“(Shepherd) played No. 1 for us last year too and kind of struggled with playing No. 1 because there are so many other really good No. 1 players. No. 1 is a hard spot to play, and she really stood out as a leader of the team,” Whitley said. “She’s a senior this year, so she did really well motivating the rest of the team and doing well in her matches too.”

Washington returns to the court today, as the Pam Pack hits the road to take on Currituck County with play starting at 4 p.m.