It was almost a clean sweep for the Montesano High School girls tennis team in its first home match Monday.
The Bulldogs (1-2) won both doubles matches and two of the three singles matches against Stevenson without dropping a game in the four matches they won.
“I was happy with the way we played today,” coach Theresa Helland said. “Everybody played to their ability.”
Montesano had been tied with Stevenson for last place in the league after losses to Castle Rock, 4-1, and Tenino, 3-2, early in the season. While Helland said she felt the Bulldogs were better than their record going into the match, she didn’t expect to keep Stevenson without winning a game in four matches. Montesano got wins from both doubles teams with the pairings of April Easter and Katie Ayers and Elizabeth Taborski and Bailey Malizia each winning 6-0, 6-0. The only Bulldog to drop a game on Monday was Hunter Hancock, who lost the No. 1 singles match, 6-0, 6-2. Ally McHatton and Gillen Reinersten each picked up 6-0, 6-0 wins in the second and third singles matches.
Helland said the Bulldogs’ movement played a key in all five matches as the girls worked to anticipate shots and recover quickly.
“We are getting a little better movement, a little better anticipation instead of waiting for the ball to bounce and then move to the ball,” Helland said.
The strength of the Montesano team this year was evident early with the Bulldogs taking both doubles matches. Helland said she paired up seniors Easter and Malizia with a player that complements their styles to make a push to get each player to the state tournament in their final season. Both pairs showed promise as it was just the second time Easter and Ayers competed together and the first time for Malizia and Taborski to be paired.
“We put the strength at doubles and as the year progresses the singles should get better and better and today they definitely looked better,” Helland said. “I’m excited to see what the doubles teams can do.”