The Del Norte girls tennis team picked up another win — the programs 18th regular season victory in a row — with a resounding 7-0 sweep of St. Bernard’s on Tuesday in the Warriors first home meet of the season.
“We played really well in Fortuna last week and I saw that consistency again this week,” said Del Norte head coach Sara Sampels. “Once again I was really impressed with the girls and their play.”
The Warriors were without their top singles player, Jasmine Pearson, who was too sick to compete but cheered on her teammates from outside the fence.
Without Pearson in the lineup, each of the Warrior players had to move up one position against the Crusaders.
“For some of the girls it kind of made them nervous to move up, but they all stepped up to where they needed to play,” Sampels said. “I think they all played at the level they would have played anyway, regardless of the positions that they were at.”
The change in lineup hardly seemed to effect Del Norte on the scoreboard, as the Warriors won each match handily.
In singles play, Danika Scott moved up to the No. 1, Aliyah Rafalowski moved up to No. 2, and Emily Feeney moved up to the No. 3 spot. All three Warriors picked up 6-0, 6-0 victories.
Lauren Galea won 6-0, 6-2 in the No. 4 singles position while Monique Carmarena swept the No. 5 singles match 8-0.
After struggling a little bit in doubles play against Fortuna to start the season, Sampels said the Warriors teams improved in their second outing.
Scott and Rafalowski teamed up for an 8-1 win in the No. 1 doubles match. Galea and Liz Ward, who played No. 3 doubles in Fortuna, teamed up for an 8-2 win in the No. 2 doubles match on Tuesday.
“We have been working on doubles a lot this past week and I thought out doubles improved,” Sampels said. “Danika and Aliyah were teamed up for No. 1 doubles this week because our No. 1 player (Jasmine Pearson) was sick. They did a really good job of moving together and moving their feet. Our No. 2 team, which played No. 3 against Fortuna, still needs to work on moving their feet and working together. But I thought they played really well.”
Del Norte’s next game against St. Bernard’s has been moved back to Oct. 23 due to a conflict with ACT testing on Oct. 6.
The Warriors are now 2-0 as a team this season. They will be back in action Saturday, at home against McKinleyville. The Panthers feature the returning Humboldt-Del Norte League singles champion in Jen Jolin, along with each of its top three players from a season ago.
“I think that they have a full team this year, and I have heard that their No. 1 and No. 2 players are top contenders,” Sampels said. “My No.1 player, Jasmine, is nervous because she knows that that is coming and this is her first year playing No. 1. She is really nervous about it, but I think she will be a good contender — I think she is going to surprise herself.”
The Warriors meet with McKinleyville is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
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