Trojan tennis team sweats out win over Ponderosa

By: Staff Report
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Ralph Clark likes to give his younger players experience, while resting his top players for the more important matches. Last Wednesday he rested seven of his top-nine players against Ponderosa and it was almost one too many, as the Trojans sweated out a 5-4 win. “In an effort to create a little pressure for the girls to play under, I might have gone a little too far,” Clark said. “Having left seven of the top-nine at home allowed them to play under some pressure and gave playing opportunities for future starters on the team.” Things looked good early, as Oak Ridge won four of the first five matches completed, picking up singles wins from Lauren Roppolo (6-3, 6-0), Teja Chalamcherla (6-1, 6-1) and Miranda Miller (6-0, 6-1) at No. 1-3 singles. Haesoo Kim also won at No. 6 singles, 6-0, 6-4. Then it got interesting. “We were up 4-1 but I didn’t feel comfortable,” Clark said. “The four remaining matches went to three sets and as the matches came off it got more and more uncomfortable as they were all going against us.” Ponderosa won two doubles matches in three sets and also won a three-set match at No. 5 singles. Fortunately, Oak Ridge’s No. 3 doubles team, Sydney Newman and Megan Engle, came through for the team. Afte winning the first set 6-3, Newman and Engle lost the second before taking the third, 6-3, which gave Oak Ridge the win. With several starters on the bench against against Sheldon on Sept. 26, Oak Ridge overwhelmed the Huskies, 9-0. Rachel Librach and Chalamcherla moved up from their normal fifth and sixth singles positions on the ladder to No. 1 and 2 and still came away with straight set victories, Librach winning 6-2, 6-0 and Chalamcherla walking away with a 6-3, 6-2 win. Everyone, in fact, moved up in the lineup. Hannah Crookham picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles, followed by wins by Gabby Zeagler (6-2, 6-2), Miller (6-0, 6-0) and Kim (6-1, 6-2) in singles play. Megan Eaves and Emily Beasy earned their first starts of the season at No. 1 doubles and earned a 6-4, 7-6 victory in the most competitive match of the day. Engle and Madi Miller won 6-1, 6-4 at No. 2, followed by a 6-1, 6-2 win by Jessica Williams and Ashley Gonzales at No. 3, also in their first varsity start.