Clearfield girls tennis topples Johnsonburg|
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
HYDE - The last time the Clearfield girls tennis team won a meet, the current Lady Bison seniors were only in eighth grade and the squad was still on the road for all of its events.
Monday afternoon felt a little more special for Clearfield head coach Brian Lytle, who was only coaching the boys at the time.
The Lady Bison took three of the singles matches over Johnsonburg, while the two teams split the doubles matches as Clearfield earned its first win since 2010, 5-4.
"That was a lot of close matches the whole way through," said Lytle. "That's about as closely matched as two teams can be. It certainly feels good to come out on the winning side.
"Last year and even last week, we had the mini-victories. But if you go back through the calendar to look at team victories, it's been seasons since we've had a girls tennis team victory.
"I told the girls to be proud and be happy for that one. They put a lot of time in over the summer, and that's what has got them over the hump.
"They should be able to see what the hard work really has led to. They should be able to celebrate this one for a couple hours and then go back at it tomorrow."
Rachel Homan earned one of the bigger victories of the day for the Lady Bison at No. 1 singles.
Out of the three matches of the day that went to tiebreakers, Homan was the only one to pull out a victory as the sophomore won the third set, 10-6, after winning the first (6-1) and dropping the second (6-4) against Lady Ram ace Andrea Allegreto.
Maggie Sopic fell to Johnsonburg's Olivia Perez-McGill in straight sets before pairing with Homan for the tightest match of the day.
The Lady Bison duo was serving for the match ahead 7-5, but Allegreto and Perez-McGill battled back to force a tiebreaker after the teams split 16 games.
Once again, Homan and Sopic were up in the tiebreaker early, only for Allegreto and Perez-McGill to make up a comeback as they won the last game, 7-5.
"We were only a couple points away, and I thought it was a given," said Lytle. "All of a sudden, it turned in the other direction. They're that close. They really weren't ever over until the final point."
"That's another one of those matches that could've gone either direction. If you let your foot off the gas, one poor decision can come back to haunt you. They're both only in their second year of tennis. The next time, they'll make adjustments.
"You can certainly see the chemistry between the two of them. They've played doubles together a lot now. You can really see how well they're starting to play, but it's still a process. There will be some ups and downs. They played well.
"They both had very good matches, singles and doubles. They'll learn from the goods and the bads. They'll be better tomorrow and next week because of it."
Clearfield took Nos. 4 and 5 in singles action as Sarah Hazel and Arianne Good each won in straight sets, while Taylor Wiser dropped her match to Johnsonburg's Megan Fannin. Wiser took the first set, 6-4, before dropping the second, 6-2, and the tiebreaker, 10-1.
Good and Tessa Waring defeated Johnsonburg's Emily Catalano and Maria Neleo, 8-4, while the Lady Bison duo of Anna Brewer and Jiami Zhu fell to Elizabeth Klemek and Lea Ortin early in doubles action, which left the two teams with four wins each.
Wiser and Hazel were playing in the only match left to go, and they were down 5-3 to the Lady Rams' Fannin and Heather Zeltz. But the senior duo rallied back to take five straight games and win, 8-5, sealing the match for Clearfield.
"It was nice that tonight it was Sarah and Taylor that were able to carry us across the line," said Lytle. "I told the girls, ‘Tomorrow, it might be somebody else that fills that void.'
"That's the neat thing about team sports. As much as it seems like it's an individual thing on the court, you throw that team score in there and it's always somebody's turn to carry the load. Tonight, Taylor and Sarah put us through and it could be somebody else tomorrow.
"It's nice to see the team victory. It's definitely a good feeling."
Clearfield (1-1) hosts DuBois this afternoon. The match is set to start at 3:30 at the Bison Sports Complex.
Clearfield 5, Johnsonburg 4
1. Rachel Homan, C, def. Andrea Allegreto, J, 6-1, 4-6, 10-6.
2. Olivia Perez-McGill, J, def. Maggie Sopic, C, 6-3, 6-3.
3. Megan Fannin, J, def. Taylor Wiser, C, 4-6, 6-2, 10-1.
4. Sarah Hazel, C, def. Heather Zeltz, J, 6-4, 6-4.
5. Arianne Good, C, def. Emily Catalano, J, 6-3, 6-0.
1. Allegreto/Perez-McGill, J, def. Homan/Sopic, C, 9-8 (7-5).
2. Wiser/Hazel, C, def. Fannin/Zeltz, J, 8-5.
3. Good/Tessa Waring, C, def. Catalano/Maria Neleo, J, 8-4.
4. Elizabeth Klemek/Lea Ortin, J, def. Anna Brewer/Jiami Zhu, C, 8-1.