DALLAS — With rain sprinkling the courts to start off the match, the Dallas High School Dragons girls tennis team engaged in a Polk Rivalry tennis match on their home court against the Central High School Panthers, defeating them 7-1, making their record 4-1 so far in league.
In the singles matches, Dallas’ Peyton Fast lost to Reann Kelly, 3-6, 1-6; Megan Johnston defeated Molly Scroggins 6-1, 6-1; Sarah Baer defeated Jill McBeth 6-3, 6-2; and Emily West defeated Berean Jones 6-0, 6-0.
Fast may have lost, but she didn’t appear to be defeated after her match.
“I didn’t win, but I did play really well, and being No. 1 singles, that means I play a lot of good players, which helps me become a better player,” Fast said.
It’s only her fourth time playing singles.
“I played doubles last year,” she said. “(This year) I kind of decided I wanted to play on my own and see how it went. I’ve been liking it a lot so far. It’s hard, because you don’t have a partner to, when you mess up, they can’t lift you up, so its really like a mental game.”
Johnston, who walked off the courts with a victory, beamed after her match. Like Fast, she is also new to playing singles.
“(The match) was good,” she said. “This is only my second time playing singles this year, so it was fun.”
The other time she played singles was at districts last year, when head coach Jordan Sollman switched her last minute from her usual doubles position to singles.
“He was like, ‘you’re playing singles at districts,’” Johnston said. “I was crying of course,” she laughed.
But this year, she’s enjoying singles.
“It’s easier, definitely for me, for singles just because you can depend more on yourself and you’re confident in your own abilities, basically,” she said.
In the doubles matches, Dallas dominated, with Amanda Shafer and Kinzi Boer defeating Amelia Cantu and Kimi Mintes 6-0, 6-0; Bekah Rocak and Maddie Kennedy defeated Faith Berry and Kaitlyn Dorn 6-2, 7-5; Leanne Sleeper and Jasmine Contreras defeated Hazel Lydum and Rylie Smith 6-2, 6-3; and Molly Burger and Breanne Howard defeated Kalli Wakefield and Nayeli Lopez Welton 6-1, 6-3.
With the spring tennis season full of obstacles, including canceled games due to weather, and spring break, Sollman said those hurdles haven’t seemed to affect the girls.
“Season has started off really good,” he said. “Girls are constantly improving, and are playing great tennis. We are still moving girls around at different spots to see where they are playing best, hoping to solidify some things as we get into the last two weeks of April. Hopefully the sun will be nice to us in the back half of April.”
Thursday, the team swept North Salem, never letting up on their attack.
Tuesday after half time, they hosted Silverton. Thursday, they travel to West Albany at 4:30 p.m.