Oak Harbor keeps swinging away

Facing the top three Western Conference North teams in one week resulted in three Oak Harbor tennis losses, but coach Horace Mells is still encouraged.

“We’re doing pretty well,” he said. “Everyone just keeps improving.”

The Wildcats, who had won five straight coming into this week, dropped a match 5-2 to Stanwood on Monday, another 5-2 to Cascade on Tuesday and one more 5-1 to Snohomish on Thursday.

All three of those teams were expected to vie for the league title. Oak Harbor’s hope at the beginning of the spring was to knock one of them off their pedestal.

“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to finish in the top three, which we won’t be able to do now,” Mells said. “But we’re in fourth and we’re hoping we can hang onto that.”

In this week’s matches, the Wildcats were led by number two singles player Amy Berg. The senior gathered two more victories on Monday and Tuesday, bumping her season record to 8-1.

“She’s doing really well right now,” Mells said. “Her only loss of the season was in a match where we had to bump her up.”

Berg, who didn’t compete on Thursday, won Monday’s match 6-2, 6-3 and Tuesday’s 6-1, 6-3.

Number one player, senior Pristine Santos, has also picked up her game of late. She’s 4-5 on the season, but has won four of her last six matches. One of those came on Thursday in a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Snohomish’s number one player Jill Trumbull.

“If she keeps playing the way she is right now, she’s going to do real well in the post season,” Mells said.

Others picking up victories this week included number three singles player junior Christine Connelly and number four singles player, senior Abigail Pruss.

Oak Harbor didn’t earn any doubles victories during the week and Mells knows that’s an area the team will need to continue to work on in order to hang on to the number four spot.

“We’re doing a lot of doubles drills and a lot of work at the net,” he said. “We need somebody to come through in doubles.”

The Wildcats will return to action at 3:45 p.m., Monday, April 24.

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