By Bill Cross For The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin
---- — PENDLETON — In a match that was delayed by rain and played in a gusty cross wind, the Pendleton Heights girls tennis team pulled out a 3-2 win over visiting Lapel on Monday afternoon.
“I thought our doubles played nice matches,” Lapel coach Justin Coomer said. “I don’t think our singles played bad at all. Their singles lineup is really strong.”
The wind played some tricks on shots and altered strategy a bit, but both teams had to play in the same conditions.
“It was a big crosswind, I just had to base my targets on the wind, trying to go for the line where the wind was not blowing,” said Emma McCardwell, Pendleton’s No. 1 singles player.
Pendleton’s first point came when No. 1 2 singles player Carly Wilson defeated Peighton Dobbins of Lapel 6-0, 6-1. Wilson was able to grab control early and made several nice shots to score the win.
Soon after Wilson’s win, McCardwell wrapped up a 6-1, 6-1 win over Lapel’s Lexi Allen, but the score was deceiving. There were several nice points in the match, and Allen had McCardwell moving throughout both sets. The strategy seemed to backfire a little as McCardwell was able to make difficult returns on some nice shots.
“She’s a good player,” said McCardwell. “We had a lot of close games and close points. She did like to move me, but sometimes I think I play better when I’m moving around instead of just standing still.”
“They’ve played a couple of times, they kind of know each other and how they play,” said Pendleton coach Royce Hammel. “Emma’s worked hard. She’s a fighter. It’s a matter of who is on that night, and it came our way tonight.”
Sam Hammel of Pendleton won the No. 3 singles match 6-1, 6-1 over Lapel’s Emma Bush to complete the sweep.
While the singles’ players were winning in straight sets, the Arabians’ doubles teams were struggling to gain a point.
Lapel’s No. 1 doubles tandem of seniors Kaitlyn Dobbins and Rachel Thalls used their quickness and athleticism to score a 6-4, 6-4 win over Pendleton’s Audrey and Kayleigh Corn.
In the final match of the night, Lapel’s duo of Bailee Scribner and Gabby Cherry downed Pendleton’s Brandy Stoker and Haley Augsburger 6-3, 6-4.
“It was okay,” Hammel said of his team’s win. “I’d like to see our doubles play a little bit more competitively than what they did tonight. They know what they need to do. It’s just a matter of going out and doing it. We’re strong in singles, and it was good to see them come out and get the wins.”
Coomer was glad to see how competitive the Bulldogs were against a top opponent.
“They’re probably if not the best, one of the best teams we’re going to play,” Coomer said. “They are undefeated for a reason. We have some matches coming up that I feel like we have a chance if we play like we did tonight.”
Both teams are back in action today as Pendleton (9-0) hosts Frankton and Lapel (4-2) travels to Triton Central for an Indiana Crossroads Conference match.