The Del Norte girls tennis team got off to a solid start to the season on Tuesday, heading to Fortuna and coming home with a 7-2 win over the Huskies.
The Warriors’ top players were particularly successful as Del Norte won the No. 1 through No. 5 singles matches and the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles matches.
“Overall I was really impressed with the team and how they played,” said Del Norte head coach Sara Sampels. “Everyone was hitting very consistently and everyone seemed like they were ready and well prepared for the first match. I want to thank Jane (Rumiano) and Samuel (Escobar) for volunteering their time over the summer — working with the girls and keeping their skills up to par.”
Senior Jasmine Pearson picked up a 6-3, 6-3 win in the No. 1 singles match over Katherine Gearhart in her first match as the Warriors’ full-time top singles player.
“Jasmine did really well in the No. 1 spot,” Sampels said. “She was really consistent in her first set. Then in her second set she decided to let loose a little and go for more winning shots. I was happy to see that and impressed that she was able to trust herself to do that. It ended up paying off for her.”
Junior Danika Scott turned in the most lopsided score of the match with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Lauren Underwood.
“Danika was probably the most impressive player of the day for us because she moved really well, she served really well, and her overall game was just awesome,” Sampels said. “She had a good start so hopefully she can keep that momentum for the rest of the season.”
Aliyah Rafalowski won the No. 3 singles match for Del Norte, 7-5, 7-5; Emily Feeny won the No. 4 singles match 6-3, 6-0, and Lauren Galea picked up a 6-4, 6-4 win in the No. 5 singles match.
Fortuna’s only win came in the No. 6 singles match when Alejandra Aguilar edged out Del Norte’s Monique Camerena 7-5, 6-3.
“Even though Monique lost her match, I was still really impressed with her consistency and the perseverance in her match,” Sampels said.
Sampels said the team could have looked better in its doubles matches. Although Pearson and Scott picked up an 8-4 win in No. 1 doubles and Rafalowski and Feeney won No. 2 doubles 8-5, there was lots of room for improvement.
Del Norte lost the No. 3 doubles match 8-1.
“Even though we pulled the matches out, I felt like our consistency kind of faltered a little bit in doubles,” Sampels said. “That could be for different reasons.”
One of those factors could be conditioning, as double matches are played at the end of the meet following singles play. Sampels said she expects to focus on doubles play in practice over the next couple weeks, while also working to improve conditioning.
“There will be a couple tougher teams that we are going to face, so I think winning those doubles matches are going to be pretty crucial,” she said. “So that is what I am going to focus on with the girls for the next couple weeks. We will just work on strategy in doubles play, working together, and conditioning to keep our energy up though the whole competition.”
With the win, Del Norte improves to 1-0 this season. The Warriors are currently on a 17-match regular season winning streak stretching back to Oct. 11, 2016.
Del Norte is scheduled to be back in action on Tuesday against St. Bernard’s in what will be the home opener for the Warriors. That match is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.
Reach Michael Zogg at email@example.com .