While the Galion girls tennis team may still be searching for its first victory of the season, head coach Bob Roesch said he likes the gains his team is making each week. Buckeye Valley earned a 4-1 victory over the Tigers in a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference match on Thursday at Heise Park.
“From the top to the bottom, we’re seeing a lot of improvement,” Roesch said. “They’re showing maturity and court sense. Everybody we’re playing in the second round (of the MOAC schedule) we’re showing improvement against. That’s all part of it, to learn the game. The whole team played very well tonight.”
Tigers freshman Kaylyn Gimble won in impressive fashion against Brienna Garber of Buckeye Valley. Gimble wasted little time, winning in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.
“Kaylyn is advancing very quickly,” Roesch noted. “It’s really good for her.”
The Galion second doubles tandem of Kiersten Gifford and Marissa Brenich — both freshmen — battled well in their match against a veteran Buckeye Valley duo of senior Alex Garber and junior Julie Sparks. Gifford and Brenich won the opening set, 6-4, but Garber and Sparks rallied to win the second set, 6-1, and force a tie-breaker. The Buckeye Valley pair won the tie-breaker, 10-7, to claim the match.
“When we played down there, we got handled pretty good,” said Roesch. “It was a good comeback for (Gifford and Brenich) to come back a week and a half later and be very competitive. They did real well, made some good adjustments. Our freshmen were a little bit nervous, especially when it went to the tie-breaker, but they played very well.”
At first singles, Buckeye Valley’s Arianna Phrakornkhan defeated Galion’s Katelyn Smith in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. The Barons also won the second singles match as Lexi Poulton knocked off Cassidy Ivy of Galion in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2.
The Barons also collected a win at first doubles. Kasey Morris and JoAnn Leienberger of Buckeye Valley defeated Dani Court and Tori Chandler of Galion in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.
Roesch said he is also pleased with the positive attitude the Tigers have maintained throughout the season.
“I said to the girls tonight, ‘You guys all played better, you’re all improving, but are you having fun?’ And they said, ‘yes,’” he stated. “It’s nice to win and it’s great to improve, but you have to have fun while you’re doing it, and then you’re going to work harder while you’re having fun.”
The Galion girls’ tennis team dropped matches to Tiffin Calvert and Pleasant over the Labor Day weekend.
Calvert defeated the Tigers, 4-1, last Saturday. Galion lost to the Spartans, 3-2, last Tuesday.
Against Pleasant, Katelyn Smith won at number one singles, 6-3, 6-1. Dani Court and Tori Chandler won their match at first doubles, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1.
The Tigers are scheduled to play in the Sam Sabback Invitational on Saturday at Bucyrus High School. Matches begin at 10 a.m. at the BHS Athletic Complex.
Galion will play host to Clear Fork on Monday at 4:15 p.m., then make road trips to River Valley on Tuesday and Jonathan Alder on Thursday.
The Tigers wrap up the regular season with home matches against Marion Harding on Sept. 22 and Pleasant on Sept. 24. Both matches begin at 4:15 p.m. at Heise Park.
Reach Carter at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048, or on Twitter @ACGalionSports.