By DAVE LEDER
News staff writer
PORTLAND — After a less-than-sparkling homestand April 17-18, the Hood River Valley girls tennis team was determined to show what it was made of Wednesday against former league rival, Central Catholic.
Led by seniors Emily Sager and Erin Hart, the Eagles swept all four singles matches, and then picked up a win at No. 4 doubles to walk away a 5-3 win, marking their first head-to-head match victory since March 18.
“Winning is definitely more fun,” said coach Shayla Moline, whose team improved to 2-6 on the season. “We learned a lot last weekend, and we used that to our advantage against Central Catholic.”
The Eagles were coming off a difficult stretch against Summit, Redmond and Crook County, in which they totaled just two match victories out of 24.
Wednesday’s make-up match against the Rams was a chance for the Eagles to rebuild some of the confidence they developed with an 8-0 sweep of Pendleton to start the season.
In fact, the HRV singles players performed so well on Wednesday that they didn’t give up a single set to the Rams. Sager won 6-2, 6-4 at No. 1 singles, Hart won 6-4, 6-3 at No. 2, freshman Jenna Ritter won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3, and freshman Kelsey Contreras won 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4.
Meanwhile, the No. 4 doubles pair of Justine Bryant and Ashley Lathrop won their match 6-3, 6-2 to put HRV over the top.
“I’m proud of the girls, and it was good to see all their hard work pay off with a win,” Moline said. “They know they have a difficult task playing against the older, more-experienced teams in the IMC. But they always go out and compete their hardest in every match.”
Even in defeat, the Eagles played hard to the very last point on Wednesday. The No. 1 doubles pair of Tia Wymore/Susi Valle fell 4-6, 1-6; the No. 2 team of Vanessa Geddis/Viri Almanza lost 3-6, 4-6; and the No. 3 team of Sara DeSitter and Katie Rawson dropped a 4-6, 2-6 decision.
“The match experience is great for us to have, and we’re getting better and better every time out,” Moline said. “We need as much court time as we can get right now, and hopefully these girls will continue to play throughout the summer to prepare for next year.”
The Eagles travel to Bend and Mountain View today and visit The Dalles-Wahtonka on Tuesday.