EATON — Eaton’s girls tennis team is off to a quick start after going 3-0 during the first week of the season, which included a pair of league wins and a win over an unbeaten traditional powerhouse.
Eaton knocked off Madison (5-0) and Valley View (5-0) in Southwestern Buckeye League West Division play and pulled out a 3-2 win over Alter in between.
“It was a nice week for the [team]. [We were] able to get off to a good start in SWBL play as two of those were over league opponents,” Eaton coach John Hitchcock said. “In league play, the matches were pretty routine for our singles players. I was most proud of our doubles teams and how they persevered and found a way to win. Especially the second doubles team of Laura [Dillon] and Harmony [Atkinson].”
Hitchcock said the doubles team trailed Madison throughout the second set, but turned it around to win the last three games and the match. Then, against Valley View, they endured “almost a two hour first set” in which they trailed most of the set, but managed to get it to a tiebreaker that they narrowly pulled out.
“After that, it appeared their opponents just ran out of steam. That really shows poise and character to win matches like that. And since they each just have one year of JV experience, it’s reassuring to see they can win matches in that fashion,” he said. “I also felt good about Anna [Kramer] and Haneet [Kang]’s play in the league matches. Especially the Valley View match. It was a back and forth match in each set but they regrouped and rallied at the right time to get a straight sets win.”
Against Madison, on Monday Aug. 30, the Eagles lost just one game in singles play.
At first singles, Macy Hitchcock defeated Megan Phelps 6-0, 6-0. At second singles, Mallory Hitchcock defeated Kaitlyn Jennewine 6-0, 6-0. At third singles, Grace Murphy defeated Kenzie Johnson 6-1, 6-0
At first doubles, Anna Kramer and Haneet Kang defeated Audrey Wills and Avery Huff 6-2, 6-1. At second doubles, Laura Dillon and Harmony Atkinson defeated Madison Ballard and Caroline Higgs 6-3, 7-5.
On Wednesday, Sept. 1 Eaton hosted Archbishop Alter. At first singles, Macy Hitchcock defeated Grace Lampman 6-2, 6-1. At second singles, Mallory Hitchcock defeated Maggie Shope 6-0, 6-1. At third singles, Grace Murphy defeated Annie Gayonski 6-2, 6-2.
At first doubles, Anna Kramer and Haneet Kang lost to Alaina Baker and Annie Schaefer 3-6, 5-7. At second doubles, Laura Dillon and Harmony Atkinson lost to Elisabeth Collins and Chelsea Hoskins 1-6, 0-6.
On Thursday, Sept. 2, Eaton hosted Valley View (6-1). At first singles, Macy Hitchcock defeated Lilly Holbrook 6-0, 6-0. At second singles, Mallory Hitchcock defeated Lily Webb 6-0, 6-0. At third singles, Grace Murphy defeated Reina Webb 6-0, 6-0.
At first doubles, Anna Kramer and Haneet Kang defeated Olivia Eck and Izzy Orozco 6-3, 6-2. At second doubles, Laura Dillon and Harmony Atkinson defeated Lauren Miller and Rachelle Lawson 7-6 (5), 6-0.
“The Alter match was the one we were really looking forward to playing because we knew they were going to be a great test,” coach Hitchcock said. “They were undefeated at that point, had strong singles players and solid doubles teams. In fact, their No. 1 player placed third in state last season and gave Macy a very competitive match in the semi-finals of districts. So, we knew her court was going to be tested but suspected we matched up well at second and third singles. And that’s how it ended up playing out. Anna and Haneet had a very tough, competitive match but too many forced errors cost them in the end.”
Hitchcock said Murphy was solid in her match.
“Grace Murphy played a very fundamentally sound match on her way to a straight sets win only dropping four games,” he said.
Freshman Mallory Hitchcock is off to a fast start and played a very aggressive and offensive match which only saw her drop one game.
“She let her foot off the gas pedal right at the end of the match, which many players do, and it cost her a game,” coach Hitchcock said. “With experience, hopefully she realizes to keep playing the way you got to that lead.”
The coach said Macy Hitchcock sealed the win.
“Then Macy ended up sealing the win by securing a 6-2, 6-1 win. However, that score line does not reflect how close the match was and how long and physical the points were,” he said. “For instance, Mallory was already starting her second set while Macy was playing just her third game of the first set. For a fan, it was great tennis to watch but it was an intense match, physically and mentally. Macy was fortunate to win this way because more than likely, they will have to face off against each other a few more times in post season.”
Eaton was scheduled to play in the state team tournament on Monday, Sept. 6 at Cincinnati Seven Hills. The Eagles are also scheduled to host Chaminade Julienne on Wednesday and Carlisle on Thursday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Tiwtter @emowenjr