Just when the Hood River Valley girls tennis team had its lineup set for this weekend’s district tournament, the injury bug paid them an unexpected visit.
Senior No. 2 doubles player Elie Meierbachtol tore ligaments in her ankle during Wednesday’s final practice, forcing coach Barb Hosford to shift her lineup the night before the team’s trip to Hermiston.
“We’re pretty bummed to lose Elie the night before districts, but the games must go on,” Hosford said. “Our team has been playing great tennis the past two weeks, and hopefully we can build off that and peak at the right time.”
HRV was scheduled to begin play Friday morning and, with any luck, continue on to Saturday’s finals (results not available at press time).
Meierbachtol’s injury means that her court partner Brittany Reed would play No. 2 singles, and No. 2 and 3 singles players Gena Folts and Emily Sager would pair up as the No. 2 doubles team.
“A couple teams in the IMC stack their lineups for doubles, so we’re hoping that by putting Gena and Emily together, we can get a few more wins,” Hosford said.
The rest of the Eagles lineup remained relatively unchanged, with seniors Ashley Nunamaker and Corinne Oates pairing up for No. 1 doubles, senior Jodie Gates playing No. 1 singles and Lindsay Brown and Jessica Young teaming up for No. 3 doubles.
Rounding out the lineup would be senior Michi Aniwanter at No. 3 singles, sophomore Erin Hart at No. 4 singles, and freshmen Vanessa Geddis and Ashley Rengler at No. 4 doubles.
“We’re pretty young at the No. 4 spots, but it will be a good experience for all of our players,” Hosford said. “As long as we continue to use our best offensive and defensive techniques, as we have in the past few matches, we should be competitive.”
HRV lost its final district tune-up to Hermiston on Tuesday at the May Street Courts by a match score of 5-3. The match of the day was turned in by Meierbachtol and Reed, who won 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.