Pam Pack tennis wilts against Fike for first loss of season

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The combination of Fike’s quality on the court and the heat proved to be too much to overcome for the Washington tennis team yesterday, as the Pam Pack picked up its first loss of the season, losing five out of nine matches to the Demons.

Washington (2-1) split singles play with Fike (6-0), with both teams winning three singles match apiece. Senior Kayla Clark defeated Avery Rose Brown 8-1, Abbi Tucker beat Sophia Meszaros 8-3 and Lilly Frances Lobos defeated Cappa Hill 8-6 for the Pam Pack. But Washington head coach Miranda Whitley felt her team didn’t play as well in doubles as it has in the past. The duo of Clark and Tucker picked up the only doubles victory of the day, defeating Meszaros and Reagan Brown 9-8 (7-0).

“There were some missed shots, not as much communication as there has been in other previous doubles matches, and just kind of simple things to work on as a doubles pairing, especially No. 2 and 3 doubles (teams). No. 2 doubles ended up winning their doubles match, but it just wasn’t pretty,” Whitley said. “They normally take a 15-minute break before doubles, but after already playing, sometimes being a little tired and being out in the sun for that long can play a part in it.”

Clark, Washington’s No. 2 player, did well returning serves yesterday. Whitley praised her shot selections and ability to move her opponent around the court.

“Her groundstrokes were very flat during singles, so she was able to hit hard, hit the ball with some pace and all of her shots stayed pretty low. She was hitting down the line and then she was hitting some really great cross-court shots too,” Whitley said.

Washington’s coach was also happy to see Tucker take a more aggressive approach, compared to her prior matches this season.

“Abbi was trying to be a little bit more aggressive yesterday, and I think that really worked out for her to try to get a little bit more power on her shots,” Whitley said. “Normally, Abbi tries to play it safe and keep the ball in play, but I think she was aiming her shots a little bit better and kind of using her legs for a little bit more power on her shots yesterday.”

Washington wasn’t able to pull out the win yesterday, but it still proves beneficial to play a quality opponent such as the Fike Demons, who lost only once all of last season.

“Fike always has a really good team, so I knew going into it that it would be a tough match. These tougher matches like this are good for the girls because it prepares them for what’s going to be coming later on in the season,” Whitley said. “It just gives them good practice. You get better by playing people who are better than you.”