STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan women's tennis team fell short of a sixth straight win, losing their first match of the season to the Cedarville Yellowjackets, 9-0 on Tuesday.
Despite competitive pro sets, both No. 1 and No. 2 doubles quickly fell behind, as the Lady Barons yielded losses at both spots, 8-4 and 8-3.
Intent on resting some of his starters in anticipation of the Lady Barons busy schedule of upcoming opponents, head coach Jeremy Ellis opted to start Marisa Pinto and Emmy Mathias at No. 3 doubles. Said Ellis, "It was good to see Emmy and Marisa start out playing doubles really well. They couldn't close it out but they started really well."
A match slated to begin at 4:00 p.m. quickly stretched into the early portions of the evening as singles next took the court. Sophomore Maria Binette played in one of the closest matches of the day, surrendering a tough three-set match at No. 2 singles after her opponent battled back from 5-2 down to take the second set.
Elsewhere, freshman Grace Hammel and senior Erin Coyne recorded similar losses at No. 3 and No. 5 singles,6-0, 6-2. No. 1 singles player Madelyn Conrad also saw her singles win streak snapped. Her style of play matched her opponents' well, as she lost a tight first set 7-5 before a 6-2 second set.
Despite the 9-0 loss, Ellis saw many positives in the defeat. "Overall, this was a good loss for us. We don't want to get overconfident, so this helps us to get better mentally."
Ellis expects the "fast turnaround" (the Lady Barons face Grove City tomorrow in a joint match with the men's team) to allow for continued growth on the part of the team. Of the packed upcoming schedule of matches, Ellis said he expects the women's games "continually to improve. Sometimes there's a disconnect between practicing a lot, translating that into match play. We now have back to back matches this week to build off of."
The Lady Barons next face Grove City on Wednesday at 3pm.