After starting the season off on Sept. 7 with a one-point loss to Caldwell, the Sealy Tigers’ tennis team managed to return the favor.
In the team’s second match of the season and first home match, the Tigers stepped up to beat Caldwell 12-7. Head coach Lynda Mauney said she knew the importance of the rematch for the team.
“Caldwell is such a good competitive team and we are both about the same level,” Mauney said. “But when you lose by only one match of play, we were ready to win by at least one match this time and we exceeded.”
The girls side swept in doubles winning all three matches by scores of 8-2, 8-0 and 8-2. The boys doubles beat Caldwell 2-1 in matches. The duos of Jonah DeLozier/Austin Keeton and Riley Shack/R.J. Wigfall both won their matches by a score of 8-1 and 8-4 respectively.
In the singles, the girls won four of their six lines with senior Danielle Thaxton losing her line after a 5-7 tiebreaker. Juniors Hannah Pekar, Tina Pham and Rachel Faldyn all won their lines along with sophomore Macey Feland.
The boys split their six lines with the Panthers but it was enough to win the rematch. Sophomores Jonah DeLozier and Austin Keeton won their lines with freshman Blake Zaskoda closing out the last win for the boys’ side.
Mauney said the win was one the team wanted but there is still a lot of work to be done.
“The players need to improve on all skills, but serving is a big issue that we tend to have problems with,” Mauney said. “We need to get more consistent on serves.”
She did praise the players’ ability to learn the strategies of the game and their mental attitude and strength during matches.
With strong mental fortitude, there is usually a team leader that helps that grow within a team and Mauney said that is the only senior on the team Danielle Thaxton.
“I have been very lucky to have at least one person each year who sets the standards and becomes a quality leader needed and expected on a team, and this year is no different,” Mauney said. “Danielle stepped up and started the season setting the tone and example for the rest of the team to follow.”
The Tigers’ next match is against Wharton on Sept. 22 at Wharton High School.