By Chris Chaney
The Batavia Lady Bulldogs are in an interesting position as they near the halfway point of the 2013 season. Under interim head coach Sally Bishop, Batavia’s stellar play in first and second singles aren’t showing up in the win-loss column because of the team’s inexperience in third singles and both doubles slots.
“As individuals, a couple of my players have been winning in singles, but we’re young and improving,” Bishop said. “Dana Wahl rotates first and second singles with Olivia Moon. They’ve been winning in singles and I have a strong doubles team in Chole Rains and Tommie Shearer and Tommie alternates between third singles and doubles.”
Kristin Carter fills in for Rains when she is in the third singles slot and Clarissa Carter and Sessaly Weitlaus play in second doubles.
The problem that has faced the Bulldogs early in their 1-4 season is getting over the two-match hump. Playing on five courts, Wahl and Moon are facing their opponents’ best players and having pretty good success despite it. However, when Rains and Shearer play well, it seems that one of the first two singles players drop their match.
Therefore, seemingly every match the Lady Bulldogs play, they are getting two wins between first and second singles and first doubles, but can’t seem to win a third match to give the team the victory.
“We’re improving and the second time around (the Southern Buckeye Conference) when we play the teams, (we’ll do better),” Bishop said. “The problem is we’ll get two courts and we need three to win the match, so we’re right in there and I think we’re improving each match and second time around we can win.
“We’re in the mix, we’re just not quite getting that third court win to win the match.”
The bright side of the Lady Bulldogs slow start is that they still have half of the season remaining that presents themselves another chance to get a shot at the teams that have bested them thus far.
Batavia got their lone win of the season against Felicity on Aug. 27 and at the time of press, the Lady Bulldogs were seemingly on their way to a second win of the year over Norwood.
The remaining five matches and subsequent SBC Tournament should give the Lady Bulldogs the experience and reps they need to be ready for the sectional tournament in which a good day can put a Batavia tennis player through to the districts.
The sectional tournament draw will be on Sept. 22 with the actual sectional tournament taking place on Oct. 3 and 5 at Mason High School with the opportunity to play on the ATP Courts right down the street a week later for the right to go to state in Columbus.