The Wildcat girls’tennis team opened Kingco play last Tuesday with a close loss to Issaquah, 5-4.
The Eagles won four of six singles contests. Mount Si victories went to Britta Safstrom, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Issaquah’s Megan Burns, and Kelsey Wise, who thumped Lauren Leale of the Eagles 6-0, 6-2. The Wildcats continue to work hard.
“They’re running after balls and playing hard. Janelle (Campbell) played three sets and she’s not feeling tops and Alina (Plavsky) played three sets,” said Mount Si coach Sue Gallacher. In those two matches, both Campbell and Plavsky played hard, but were defeated by their Issaquah opponents; Ashley Hoyt rallied to defeat Plavsky 2-6, 7-5 and 6-2, and Ariel Hagen also rallied for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Campbell.
Carly Nelson of the Wildcats was routed 6-1, 6-1 at the hands of Issaquah’s Aki Kida. Nelson is enjoying the opportunity to play varsity singles, but knows she has to make the most of it, considering that her top teammate, Erika Strine, is still out due to illness.
“It’s really nice being able to play singles this year, just because I haven’t had a lot of experience in the past, but I’m definitely getting it this year, and it’s really hard having Erika gone, just because she is an important part of our team. It’s hurting us to miss her, but I think it’s just making us play harder for her since she is gone,” Nelson said.
In the doubles action, Mount Si won two contests. Plavsky and Safstrom took care of Hoyt and Burns of the Eagles, 6-4, 7-5; Wise and McFarland won a tight one over Issaquah’s Casi Schwisow and Nana Hatori, 7-5, 7-6. Elizabeth Seitz and Erica Ernst of the Eagles took the third match home in a three-set nail biter over the Wildcats’ Rosie Lockie and Cortney Becker 6-4, 2-6 and 6-2, giving Issaquah the overall victory.
Last Wednesday, Mount Si made up their practice match with 4A Skyline and the Spartans rolled to an easy victory. Skyline won all except one match; that one match was a doubles contest in which Wildcats Wise and Kathryn McFarland defeated the duo of Meg and Millie Reinhardsen of the Spartans, 8-4.
Gallacher, in comments e-mailed to the Valley Record, attributed some of the struggles to fatigue. “Some of our kids looked tired and not really ready to play when they stepped on the court; it took them a while to get focused,” Gallacher said. The coach also looks for the Spartans to be a title contender when they return to 3A for the 2007 season.
Mount Si went to Liberty last Thursday to complete three straight days of matches and scored a close win over the Patriots, 5-4.
Plavsky, Safstrom, McFarland and Wise won singles matches for Mount Si and the McFarland/Wise duo won the one doubles match needed to take the overall victory for the Wildcats. Safstrom won her match 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 over Liberty’s Kallie Badyal, despite playing with a toe injury.
When Strine returns, Nelson thinks this team will be dangerous.
“Since I’ve played for Mount Si, I think this is the strongest team we’ve had and it’s exciting to see what’s going to happen, because we’ve definitely had a strong ladder this year,” Nelson said.
The Wildcats are on spring break this week, and that will provide the players time to rest and relax before the remainder of the schedule begins next week.