On day of firsts, Redskins get first win
Morris defeats Coal City on new courts in Ortega’s debut
The first meet on the resurfaced Morris Community High School tennis courts and of the Becky Ortega era went about as well as the hosts could have hoped.
Morris defeated Coal City 5-0 in its varsity girls season opener Thursday afternoon. Not only did none of the matches go to a third set, but the Redskins held Coal City scoreless in six of the 10 sets and never lost more than three games in a single one.
The most lopsided singles win for the Redskins came from their No. 1 player, Megan Davy. Facing Ashlyn Hanson in her varsity debut, Davy won the first set 6-1 and won the second 6-0. It was not the first time Davy, who has played tennis since she was “3 or 4” years old, was in a competitive environment – she has entered United States Tennis Association tournaments in the past – but it was a new kind of challenge.
“At first, I was really nervous. My hands were sort of shaking. I felt like I couldn’t get my serves in,” Davy said. “But after I kind of got warmed up more, then I kind of felt like I was playing like myself again. I was kind of on a roll.”
Davy’s older sister, Monica, and her third-year partner, Leah Lines, won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles over Taylor Sandeno and Carly Seeley.
Morris got another 6-0, 6-0 win from Carly Williamson and Mary Bush over Krissie Haddon and Kat Mginn at No. 2 doubles.
In the third doubles match, Savannah Carter and Alyssa Larsen of Morris won 6-2, 6-0 over Kailey Albrecht and Gabby Sanders of Coal City.
At No. 2 singles, Emma Dingbaum completed the sweep by holding off Carli Mginn of Coal City, 6-3, 6-1.
It was the head coaching debut for Ortega, who replaced Luke Windy during the offseason.
“I was definitely nervous coming out. Probably more nervous than the girls,” Ortega said, “but everything went smoothly, and the girls, they just took what we have been doing in practice and what they’ve learned in the past years, and it turned out well.”
Like Ortega, Coal City’s Matt Leman is in his first year as varsity girls head coach. The Lady Coalers’ first meet of the season was Tuesday at Rich East. Leman was not as pleased as Ortega with his team’s performance.
“We did not play up to our potential,” Leman said. “We do have a younger team that’s not had a lot of varsity experience this year, so I’m always proud of them when they go out and play their best, but today I just didn’t feel like they did. I think they got a lot more to offer that we didn’t see today.”
Despite the score, Leman said Sandeno and Seeley made perhaps the best impression on him of any of the Lady Coalers while facing Davy and Lines, who were state qualifiers in 2012.
“Happy with my one doubles,” Leman said. “They drew the short straw. That’s a very tough one doubles Morris team, and they played their game. They played the best they could. Not at all disappointed. They played up to their potential. They just played a really tough team. So, very proud of them. Proud of what the girls are trying to do. They’re trying to do the things I say – get to the net, you know, and do that. We gotta do it better.”