The Del Norte girls tennis team lost 6-3 at Eureka on Tuesday, but coach Jane Rumiano still found several bright spots.
"Even though the scores don't show it, the girls showed improvement in all aspects of their games," Rumiano said. "They're gaining confidence in their strokes and learning to use strategy to win points and, eventually, games.
"Raili Makela and Alexis Wright had stand-out performances in their singles. Alexis developed points well with strong groundstrokes and serves and stayed in the points until her opponent made mistakes.
"Raili trudged through three tough sets with an opponent whose game mirrored her own, and she stayed in it to finish a third-set tie-break at 7-5. The match couldn't have been closer. Then, 10 minutes later, she joined doubles partner Bre Molina to craft the only DN win in doubles by running down shots and setting up Bre at the net."
In singles, No. 1 Del Norte player Marine Henry lost to Lilly Copeland, 1-6, 1-6, while No. 2 Debbie Yang
lost to Breann Davis, 2-6, 2-6, and No. 3 Panhia Yang lost to Maddie Moore, 1-6, 1-6.
No. 4 Alexis Wright defeated Natalie Moore, 6-2, 6-4, and No. 5 Raili Makela beat Ariana Rutledge, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (5). No. 6 Bre Molina lost 3-6, 3-6.
In doubles, the Del Norte team of Yang/Yang lost 6-8, Wright/Henry lost 4-8, and Molina/Makela won 8-4.
In an exhibition doubles match, the Warrior team of Salina Xiong/Anissa Vang lost 3-8.
The team's next match is Saturday at Arcata.