Big improvement all around was the theme Tuesday after Hood River Valley High School varsity girls tennis team’s narrow loss to Pendleton. Assistant coach Justine Ziegler said, “We saw huge improvements in every one of our girls. They were on a whole other level yesterday and played absolutely beautiful tennis out there.”
The teams split the contest with four wins apiece, but the overall win went to Pendleton by one set. The result was a big improvement for HRV; the last time the two teams met the Eagles only won two of eight matches.
Singles players had a tough time with the Buckaroos’ lineup. Emilee Ziegner, Petra Knapp and Miranda Starr all lost in two sets. At the No. 4 slot, Olivia Newcomb won the only singles match for the Eagles 6-2, 6-2. The story for HRV doubles was the opposite. At the No. 1 slot, Vanessa Sandoval and Sophie Oswald lost 7-5, 6-1, but the next three duos — Naomi Greenwald/Ellie Webb, Anna Gumperlein/Claire Rawson and Emma Cameron/Siena Harlin — won.
“Vanessa and Sophie had a much closer match with Pendleton’s top doubles pair than the first time around,” Ziegler commented. “Previously they didn’t get a single game. But they were focused and played aggressively yesterday, losing the first set just 7-5 before Pendleton won the second set 6-1.”
At No. 2 singles, Knapp lost a close match in what Ziegler says is the senior’s best performance of the season. “She played a very consistent and crafty opponent at second singles,” she said. “She came up short in the end, but her footwork was phenomenal, her unforced errors were minimal and her competitiveness was fierce.”
Another solid performace came from No. 2 doubles Greenwald and Webb.
“They came out strong in the beginning and took the first set 6-1,” Ziegler said. “But Pendleton fired back with unbelievable consistency and took the second set 7-5. HRV took control of the third-set tie-breaker and came out on top by a score of 10-7.”
Results vs. Pendleton
Emilee Ziegner: 6-2, 6-0 loss; Petra Knapp: 6-4, 6-3 loss; Miranda Starr: 6-1, 6-2 loss; Olivia Newcomb: 6-2, 6-2 win; Vanessa Sandoval/Sophie Oswald: 7-5, 6-1 loss; Naomi Greenwald/Ellie Webb: 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 win; Anna Gumperlein/Claire Rawson: 6-2, 6-2 win; Emma Cameron/Siena Harlin: 6-2, 6-4 win.
HRV BOYS at Hermiston
The Eagles’ varsity boys team traveled to Hermiston this week, where it faced a tough outing against conference rivals the Bulldogs. The meet went to Hermstion 7-1, with Scottie Ziegner, at No. 1 singles, picking up the team’s only win — a commanding 6-1, 6-2 match over Gavin Friedman.