Wilsonville girls' tennis downs La Salle 6-3
At least for one set, it looked as if Wilsonville's Madeleine Klein was out for a walk in the park in her tennis match with La Salle Prep's Megan Lemay.
Then things got interesting.
After Lemay rallied to win the second set in a tie-breaker, Klein regrouped and finished with a flurry, scoring a 6-0, 6-7 (9-7), 6-2 victory in second singles to highlight Thursday's Northwest Oregon Conference girls tennis match at La Salle Prep in Milwaukie.
Wilsonville also picked up a win from Katya Karlapati in fourth singles and won four of the five doubles matches to score a 6-3 team win, but the match of the day was the Klein-Lemay slugfest, featuring two players who were both undefeated in league play heading into Thursday's match.
In the third set, Kline was up a break, leading 4-2, and had the serve while knotted at deuce in the seventh game. Klein got her first serve in and Lamey sent the return long, giving Klein the game and a 5-2 lead.
Klein, playing through a severe cramp in her right calf, broke Lamey's serve for the third time in the set, putting the match away with a hard volley that Lamey again sent back over the end line.
"I felt that my volleys were pretty good and my first serves, when they went in, were really tough to return," Lemay said. "I was not as consistent with hitting the ball as I normally am. I think maybe some nerves had something to do with that."
Klein, who won a district doubles title with younger sister Clarissa last season, said the key to Thursday's win was "staying mentally tough and not getting down after missing any shots."
Klein said she got flustered by some questionable line calls as well as a brief squabble over the score in one game in the second set, but she was thankful for the 15-minute break after the second set when she was able to exhale, eat a snack, and settle down a bit.
"I just tried to forget about what had just happened and came back like it's a fresh set," Klein said.
She said it helped, too, when each team found a volunteer to help call lines and keep score in the third set.
In the end, Klein had too big a serve and a little too much moxie at the net for Lamey.
"I was hopeful since I'd won the second set that maybe I could keep it going," Lamey said. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out, but it was still a good, competitive match.
"I thought my ability to keep the ball deep was working well. She's a former doubles players, so when she could come to the net, she was better at the net than I was. So, if I could keep her back, then I could keep her from hitting her favorite shots."
But how was Lamey able to get the match turned around after a mostly dismal first set?
"I was able to see where some of her weaknesses were and I tried to take advantage of those, and then I really tried to stay in the point," Lamey said. "If I was up 40-30, I tried to close the game out then instead of letting it go to deuce and having the battle for that point."
The match lasted roughly 2 hours and 35 minutes, counting warm-ups and the break before the start of the third set.
"It definitely was the hardest match I've had all season," Lamey said. "It was good to have a match like that before district because now I'll be more prepared. And I definitely think being able to come back from such a deficit after the first set was important to me to make that a competitive match."
WILSONVILLE 6, LA SALLE PREP 3
SINGLES: Ashley Smith, LSP, def., Izzy Gonzales, WHS, 6-2, 6-2; Madeleine Klein, WHS, def., Megan Lamey, LSP, 6-0, 6-7 (7-9), 6-2; Sabrina Scherzinger, LSP, def. Elle Berry, WHS, 6-3, 6-3; Katya Karlapati, WHS, def., Talia Jeffrey, LSP, 6-0, 6-4.
DOUBLES: Gracie Killelea/Mikayla Brehm, WHS, def., Makayla Vu/Reilly Nesen, LSP, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4); Nina Pham/Claudia Kong, LSP, def., Anna Sweetland/Sydney Byun, 6-3, 6-3; Honour Colby/Sophi Heilig, WHS, def., Elle Dierckes/Jannesa Chabot, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2; Grace Love/Stephany Bashoury, WHS, def., Nataly Ramirez/Katherine Tang, LSP, 6-0, 6-1; Maddie Giese/Meghann Yochim, WHS, def., Grace Hunter/Teresa Albert, LSP, 6-1, 6-4.
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