Arlington tennis falls to Oak Harbor

Reggie Smithson, half of the Eagles’ No. 1 doubles tandem, returns near the back line against Oak Harbor. - Travis Sherer
Reggie Smithson, half of the Eagles’ No. 1 doubles tandem, returns near the back line against Oak Harbor.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

ARLINGTON — The Lady Eagles experienced something rare as they started the second half of the tennis season: a loss.

While Arlington swept the doubles play, they ended up being swept in singles matches with a 4-3 Wesco North loss May 23, accounting for just its third of the season.

“It's an unfortunate loss for us because we beat them in the first round (of the season), but we just couldn't get that extra win this time,” said Arlington coach Jill Hatfield. “But Oak Harbor's singles played really tough today and didn't give away many points.”

The first meeting of Arlington and Oak Harbor saw the Eagles sweep the doubles matches and take the No. 4 singles, but that singles match was reversed last week and the Eagles lost for the first time in nearly three weeks.

With six matches left on the schedule, Arlington is 7-3 and in third place of the North standings. The Eagles already have more team wins than they did in all of 2009.

Doubles play has been a large part of their success, as all of the groups are near double digits in victories.

“Our strength is that our doubles are pretty evenly matched across the board," Hatfield said. "Our No. 2 and No. 3 group has switched a couple of times this year, due to challenges, and they have about the same record. It's a nice problem to have."

Winning on the day for Arlington started with the top doubles tandem of Chelsea Boulton and Reggie Smithson defeating Jordan Faraian and Kerry Rathsabanhdith (6-1, 6-3). They were followed by Laurel Graves and Brittany Craig defeating Jennifer Bowers and Jennifer Fremd (6-1, 6-3) and Chelcie Nielsen and Kami Tomyn defeating Alexa Holmly and Shannon Neilon 6-0, 7-5.

Just starting the second half of the season, Hatfield commented that her doubles team needed to keep striving for better teamwork, along with better positioning and communication, while her singles players had more technical aspects to improve upon.

“Singles has to develop more consistency with a little more variety of shots,” she said.

Team wins have come consistently for the Eagles due to their depth. So far, Hatfield said that at least four of her seven starting spots have come away with wins.

“You never know who it’s going to be either,” she said. “It could be any one of them, and that’s made it fun.”

The Eagles continue their season with a road match at Cascade.

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