By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
While neither of the McNary High School girls varsity tennis team’s matches last week were wins, the Lady Celts turned in a number performances that bode well for the future.
The Celts tied North Salem High School 4-4 and lost to West Salem High School 5-3.
Playing the lead singles for McNary, junior Sandy Childress beat North’s Maribel Ocampo in two sets, 6-4 and 7-6 (7-3).
“She did a fantastic job of starting us off right and getting us that win that helps us play really well,” said Mark Kohley, McNary head coach.
Junior Rachel Morrow followed suit at No. 2 singles with a win in straight sets, 6-3 and 6-4. Taslima Sidhu won in the No. 3 spot with set scores of 6-3 and 6-1.
Katie Stignei and Megan Thompson, the team’s only seniors, took the only win in singles matches with scores of 6-2 and 6-0. Ariana Neads and Sami Trowbridge battled to three sets with their Viking opponents, 2-6, 7-5 and 6-2, but ended up with a loss.
“There was a difference in abilities and rather than forcing them to play our game, which would have been more aggressive. We played down, and played down a lot,” Neads said.
Childress and Morrow both scored their second wins of the week in the match with West. Childress’s match ended quickly in sets of 6-0 and 6-2. Morrow had more of a battle, 7-5 and 6-3.
“Rachel wasn’t too crazy about playing singles this year, but she’s off to a great start and Sandy has been offering her lots of help,” Kohley said. “Rachel stands a good chance of sneaking up on some people if she keeps progressing.”
Up against a West doubles team that went to state last year, Stignei and Thompson fell in sets of 7-5 and 6-3, but Kohley said there was a moral victory to be had.
“That’s a tough team to draw and they competed strong throughout the match,” he said.
Neads and Trowbridge won in three sets after a stumble in the second, 6-1, 1-6 and 6-1.
“We played a lot better and more strategically, and kept that going,” Neads said.
Trowbridge said good service and communication saw the pair through to the end.
As far as improvement in the coming weeks, Kohley said he’d like to see the younger players moving along more quickly.
“We’ve been kind of slow to grow, and these girls are capable of moving faster,” he said.
Trowbridge said the juniors and seniors on the team are invested in helping them along.
“It can be tough to remember that we started from the same place, but we can help them by doing drills with them and getting outside of our usual practice partners. A lot of them are already progressing well,” Trowbridge said.