Tennis: South Whidbey gets by Wolves 5-2

South Whidbey defeated the Coupeville girls tennis team 5-2 on the Falcons' courts Tuesday, March 30.

Although the Wolves lost, coach Ken Stange said the two points Coupeville picked up in the match are the first scored by the Wolves against South Whidbey in his five years as head coach.

Coupeville generally plays two singles matches and three doubles matches in their contests. Stange said they play two extra singles matches when they compete against South Whidbey.

The Wolves won in first and fourth singles.

Julia Sierra Castaño took the No. 1 singles match 6-3, 6-2. After splitting the first four games, Sierra Castano found "her grove," according to Stange.

He added, "Once she started clicking with her strokes, she was able to move her opponent around the court and dictate the tempo of play."

In fourth singles, Lexi Blanchette, normally member of the No. 2 doubles team, made her singles debut and won 6-3, 6-0. Stange said, "Lexi has worked on her game since last season. She has made her backhand a major asset and most players don’t realize that hitting to Lexi’s backhand is not the best strategy."

Marie Hesselgrave lost in No. 2 singles 1-6, 2-6; and Lily Doyle, generally Blanchette's doubles partner, fell in No. 3 singles 1-6, 5-7. Stange said, "Lily settled in during the second set. I was impressed by the effort she put forth to stay in the second set, giving herself a chance to win."

In No. 1 doubles, Jessica Blanchette and Jordan Akins lost 1-6, 0-6. Stange said the Falcon pair "looked sharp" and "will likely contend for a trophy at the state 2A tournament."

Amanda d’Almeida and Jessica Riddle stepped up from their normal No. 3 spot to play second doubles and lost 3-6, 2-6. Stange said, "Although they lost the match, they continue to improve and will be a doubles team to reckon with as they move toward their sophomore years and beyond. This was their first loss of the season."

In No. 3 doubles, Grayson Akins and Brooke Monroe lost 0-6, 0-6.

Stange said, "It was a fun day against the Falcons. I’ve always believed that more can be learned by losing a match than by winning big. Hopefully, we can take what South Whidbey taught us and apply it when we play Friday Harbor after spring break."

The Wolves go to Granite Falls Wednesday, April 14, then host league-opponent Friday Harbor Friday, April 16, at 3:30.

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