By Alex Pjinowski
The Ladies tennis team saw action for the first time this season on Saturday with a 7-2 victory over the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima, Ohio.
Amanda Polster 13 set the pace with a victory over Jessie Stambaugh (6-2, 7-5) at the number-two singles spot. The number-one doubles team of Taylor Diffley 16 and Amy Schlessman 13 defeated Northwestern Ohios team of Stambaugh and Shaleigh McClintock (8-4). The number-two doubles team of Madison Hoffman 16 and Polster won against Kateryna Bondarenko and Nathalia de Silva (8-2), and the number-three doubles team of Samantha Murphy 16 and Abigail Younger 15 completed the sweep with a victory over Andrea Arango and Makenzie Klock (8-6). At number-one singles, Diffley was defeated by Arango in a hard-fought match that went to three sets (6-2, 4-6, 6-10). Rounding out the singles lineup, Lydia Winkler 13 lost her number-three singles match (0-6, 2-6). Lauren Hoffman 16 won her number-four singles match against de Silva (6-2, 6-1). Stephanie White 13 won at number-five singles (6-2, 6-2), and Elise Altschuler 16 won in number-six singles (6-3, 6-2).
Head Coach Scott Thielke is in an interesting position as far as the composition of his roster is concerned. The official team roster consists of eight first-years, one sophomore and junior apiece and four seniors. He gives a lot of credit to the women on the team for being able to form a cohesive unit despite this uncommon age distribution.
Thielke said that, for the most part, ability is more of a factor than age in determining how a player will compete. The teams talented pool of first years has given the Ladies depth across the lineup.
Thielke said that his team met, and in many ways exceeded, his expectations for the commencement of the season. At this rate, the Ladies are in a good position to improve upon their already respectable 10-14 record of a year ago. The Ladies next match will be against Hope International University in Fullerton, Calif. on March 7.
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