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MHS tennis team splits pair

by Larry S. Chowning

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Middlesex’s Amanda Blake returns a shot in last week’s loss to Appomattox Regional Governor’s School at RCC-Glenns. (Photo by Larry Chowning)

The Middlesex High School girls tennis got off to a strong start on March 18 with a 6-3 win over Essex, but later in the week lost 6-3 to a strong Appomattox Regional Governor’s School team.

Coach Pete Shepherd has only seven girls on the team this year. “What we lack in quantity, we make up in quality,” he said.

Returnees include Jessica Anderson and Melissa Baltrusaitis.  Anderson was undefeated last year as the MHS number one seed in singles action and was one of the top players in the region.

Baltrusaitis was the number two seeded player last year and, along with Anderson, a top doubles player for the Lady Chargers. 

Four other players also were on the team last year, and Mindy Hurley also returns to the team after a year off. “All the ladies know the game, said Shepherd. “I have already seen improvement over last year.”

“Dr. (Richard) Shores was instrumental in the tennis team getting a tennis ball machine,” said Shepherd. “This will be such a huge asset to the team and it’s like having an extra coach.”

Rappahannock Community College at Glenns, the Lady Chargers’ home site, has patched its courts and provided new nets. “I predict that with the talent we have this year, that these ladies will win the district title,” said Shepherd.

In the win over Essex, number one seed and co-captain Anderson won her match 8-1, and number 2 seed and co-captain Baltrusaitis defeated her opponent 8-1. Third seed Stephanie Hutton defeated her opponent 8-4, and Amanda Blake won her tiebreaker match 12-10.

Amanda Pruett and Andrea Stevens lost 8-5 and 8-1, respectively, in singles action.

In doubles action, Anderson and Baltrusaitis won 8-2, and Hutton and Blake won 8-0. Pruett and Hurley lost 8-5.

In the loss to Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, Anderson won 8-3, Baltrusaitis lost 8-6, Hutton won 8-5, Blake lost 8-1, Pruitt lost 10-6 in a tiebreaker, and Hurley lost 8-1.

In doubles, Anderson and Baltrusaitis won 8-3, Hutton and Blake lost 8-2, and Pruett and Stevens lost 8-2.

The Lady Chargers travel to Essex this Friday, March 27, for a 4 p.m. match, and will travel to Windsor on Tuesday, March 31.

posted 03.25.2009

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