Pats earn victory in season openerApril 5, 2021
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
LINCOLN CITY — A solid start to a campaign provides a blueprint for future success. The Heritage Hills (1-0) girls tennis team came out swinging in its first match of the season against Wood Memorial. Strong doubles play paved the path to the Patriots’ 3-2 win.
“Give Wood Memorial a lot of credit,” Heritage Hills head coach Dave Jochim said. “Their singles players kept the ball in play. That’s a major thing, especially at this level. When you’ve got somebody that’s about your equal, the match can go either way.”
All three of the singles matches featured competitive action. Wood Memorial’s Rachel Pollock defeated Heritage Hills junior Kennedy Tate in a 6-4, 7-5 contest at One Singles. Pats junior Liz Gehlhausen defeated Madie Boyd in a competitive 6-6 (7-5), 6-2 match at Two Singles. Gehlhausen’s victory played a pivotal role in the win.
“Luckily for us, Liz Gehlhausen played well in the second set,” Jochim said. “We were able to secure the match.”
Gehlhausen and Jochim made a keen observation in the Two Singles match.
“Her opponent started getting a little tired, I think,” Jochim said. “I think Liz took advantage of it. She did well for her first match. They all did well for their first match.”
The Three Singles match featured several twists and turns. Heritage Hills senior Emily Patmore went toe-to-toe with Wood Memorial’s Brilay Roule in a match that needed two tiebreakers, but Roule came away with the 6-6 (7-4), 6-6 (7-2) win. By the time that match finished, the Pats had already clinched the victory.
Heritage Hills’ One Doubles duo of Avery Neff and Liz Mehling packed some serious pop in their match. The seniors triumphed in a convincing 6-1, 6-3 win over Mykayla Spindler and Taylor Moachin.
“That’s probably my strongest position,” Jochim said about the One Doubles spot. “Of course, we’re going to play some doubles teams that are really good. We’ll see what we’re made of.”
The Pats’ Two Doubles team claimed another statement victory in their match. Junior Kiersten Gogel and senior Braili Schipp claimed a swift 6-3, 6-2 victory against Bree Rowe and Kiersten Bottoms.
“They communicate well,” Joachim said. “I was pleased with them.”
Monday evening provided several learning experiences for Heritage Hills. Going forward, Jochim wants the Pats to focus on their groundstrokes and anticipate their shots ahead of time. The season is still young, but he remains optimistic for the future.
“I just want to see them make progress,” Jochim said. “I want to see the singles take it over the hump a bit and play with some more confidence.”
Heritage Hills returns for a 5 p.m. match Tuesday against Pocket Athletic Conference foe Washington in Lincoln City. The home match will mark the opening of conference play.
“It’s a long season,” Jochim said with a chuckle. “That was only the first one, but I was pleased with what I saw.”
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