Cougar tennis loses but gains in experience

Junior Chantelle Von Pelt serves as she won her close but decisive match against Burlington-Edison.    - Akaash Saini
Junior Chantelle Von Pelt serves as she won her close but decisive match against Burlington-Edison.
— image credit: Akaash Saini

LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood Cougar tennis team is one of the youngest teams in their district. With few upperclassmen, this team is mostly in a rebuilding phase.

“All these girls were just learning the game last year," said first-year coach Nancy Jenson. “They’ve improved so much since the beginning of the season.”

Lakewood lost 6-1 against Burlington-Edison High School May 8. The sole victory for the Cougars was junior Chantelle Von Pelt at second singles with her close 6-3, 7-5 victory.

Coach Jenson said she believes the team did well.

“Burlington is a pretty tough team,” she added.

The first singles match was decided early on. Sophomore Jordan Wessell has been providing many wins for the Cougs, but fell hard against her Burlington opponent, 0-6, 0-6.

In doubles action, the second doubles team of sophomores Jamie Stauffer and Darcy Ness tied their first set 6-6, but dropped both the second and third sets 2-7, 1-6. The first doubles team of senior captain Emily Scheller and sophomore Allie Hernandez resulted in a 3-6, 2-6 loss.

“Most of our girls are still new to the game of tennis,” Jenson said. “Our girls are good athletes, but their strengths have been volleyball and basketball. Tennis will take some time. It is a real specific skills game and it requires a lot of practice and experience. The more experience, the better.”

As a coach, Jenson is working hard to help these girls learn and enjoy tennis as a lifetime sport.

“The toughest thing to remind the girls is that they are improving,” Jenson explained. “We’ve worked a lot on skills but I tell them to just have fun.”

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