Sandy girls move to top of the league
MHC GIRLS TENNIS
Monday, April 22
The Sandy girls tennis team moved to the top of the Mount Hood Conference standings after pulling off a 5-3 dual win at Barlow on Monday.
"Barlow is a tough team, we are closely matched, so it definitely gave my girls confidence," Sandy coach Heather Fitch said. "It showed them that if they try hard and go for the ball they can get hard shots back."
Junior Madison Krening picked up Sandy's first win of the day 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 singles. After seeing Barlow's Lesi Sam pull even at 4-4 in the second set, Krening moved her opponent sideline-to-sideline several times before punching a winner back to a spot that her opponent had just vacated, giving herself a chance to serve out the match.
Krening did just that, giving herself four match points after catching her opponent sliding to the middle of the court and hitting a winner behind her.
"I like to move my opponent around the court," Krening said. "You hit those drop shots and it's hard for people to get to them in time."
Krening won three straight points to close out the first set, which ended in peculiar fashion when Krening received a serve and poked it over the net with a backhand poke. Sam didn't make a move to the ball. Instead she asked if her serve was in, which Krening confirmed. Point, Game, Set.
Sandy's Haley Chang won a 6-0, 6-2 decision out of the No. 3 spot to split the singles ladder where the Pioneers finished plus-two in games.
Sandy turned the tide of the team dual when it's No. 1 doubles team of Emma Donahue and Kaytlin Poulin scored a 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 comeback win, taking the third-set tiebreaker by a 7-4 count.
The Pioneers pair led throughout the second set, evening the match when Poulin chased down a pair of overheads along the baseline before Barlow popped a return long on set point.
"My girls stayed positive and never stopped smiling," Fitch said. "Tennis is such a mental game, and they kept their shoulders back and fought hard for every point."
Sandy's Sydney Stratton and Emma Reiser won in straight sets at the No. 2 spot, while sisters Rocio and Brisa Petravicius won in three sets at the bottom of the tag-team lineup.
It marked the first time this season that Barlow has been outscored on the doubles courts.
The teams meet again Thursday on Sandy's courts to complete an early-season match that has been rained out five times. The teams go into the suspended match with the team score tied 1-1 after splitting matches at the top of the singles lineup.
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This story is slated for our April 24, print edition.