Wildcats’ girls tennis squad bounces back against Hawks
By Tommy Keeler Jr.
FRONT ROYAL — After suffering a tough loss on Monday, Warren County wanted to bounce back in its girls tennis match Wednesday — mission accomplished.
The Wildcats dominated in singles on their way to a 9-0 non-district victory over Skyline.
The Wildcats lost 9-0 to defending Group A state champion George Mason on Monday. But it was a much different result against the Hawks.
“I think we took some lessons that we learned off Monday’s loss and applied them out here tonight,” Warren County coach Jeannie Tallent said. “We had fun. It was a great bounce back. Even the next day’s practice was real positive, and we all talked about learning. They all did. They all learned something from it — which was awesome.”
The Wildcats (3-1) lost only 11 games in the six singles matches. At No. 4 singles, Warren County’s Jayme Goode beat Skyline’s Alicia Zarzuela, 10-0. Warren County’s Lauren Peterson followed with a 10-1 victory over Skyline’s Jordan Lurie at No. 5.
Warren County’s Lauren Woodrell beat Skyline’s Heather Raymond, 10-1, at No. 2 for a 3-0 lead.
Woodrell said she was working on being more consistent during her match.
“My main goal was just to get it in. I didn’t really do any power shots,” Woodrell said.
At No. 6 singles, Warren County’s Gabby Goodson beat Rebecca Schuster, 10-4. Warren County’s Morgan Walton clinched the team win with a 10-3 victory over Skyline’s Rachel Wines at No. 3.
At No. 1 singles, Warren County’s Madison Ferst used her steady, consistent game to knock off Skyline freshman Kaylee Venable, 10-2, in a match that lasted 59 minutes.
“I felt like I played really consistent and made her move side to side, which worked very well,” Ferst said.
Skyline coach John Natalie has seen plenty of Ferst over the last four years.
“I know at least since she’s been a ninth grader, she’s beat us at the bottom end of the top 6,” Natalie said. “She’s beat us in the middle of their lineup, and now she’s beating us at the top of their lineup.”
The matches were a little more competitive in doubles. Ferst and Walton beat Venable and Zarzuela, 10-6 at No. 1 doubles. Woodrell and Bridget Backstrom defeated Raymond and Lurie, 10-2. Skyline came close to winning at No. 3 doubles as Wines and Schuster held an 8-7 lead on Goodson and Meghan Schwarz, but the Warren County pair rallied to win the next three games to secure the Wildcats’ sweep.
Skyline (1-3) lost its top seven players from last year’s squad, but Natalie said he has seen improvement from his team this season.
“I had several girls out there who were seeing what was working and what wasn’t working, and were making their own adjustments,” Natalie said. ” It’s a learning experience out here for them this year, and I can see learning going on, even if the score doesn’t necessarily reflect it.”
The Wildcats have a lot of depth throughout their lineup, and have good reason to have high hopes for this year.
“I feel like we can win it all,” Ferst said. “I think we’re very well rounded. We’re all very good players. We all get along well.”
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd