West Valley View, Avondale, Arizona, Friday, March 2, 2012
Youngker opens season with win at Estrella Match goes down to wire
by Casey Pritchard assistant sports editor
Youngker’s season-opening match at Estrella Foothills needed every game to reach completion before a winner was determined. The Lady Rough Riders prevailed in the final doubles tilt. Youngker’s Nancy Rodriguez and Angela Bartram knocked off Estrella’s Ashley Smith and Amanda Skrtich in the No. 3 doubles match, 8-4, to give the Lady Rough Riders a 5-4 team victory.
“The one thing about my girls is they’re very resilient, they don’t let maybe a shaky performance in singles affect them when they step into doubles,” Youngker coach Joe Valentine said. “They take everything fresh and new and they’re ready to take it on. That’s one of the things that helped the girls push through today.” Angelica Lewis and Ashley Hilburn, at No. 2 doubles, were the other victorious pair for Youngker, beating C.C. Celaya and Paige Hernandez, 8-3. Estrella’s lone win in doubles came from its No. 1 tandem of Erin Cory and Mariah Tengler, who beat Sheena Querrer and Traci Ducusin, 8-1. “They started picking up steam, but doubles is kind of a different animal than singles and I think we need to devote an entire practice to the art of doubles, to not hit it to the net guy,” Estrella coach Amanda Schell said.
as they won three of the first four completed singles matches. However, a pair of close losses evened the match going into doubles. “We were losing early on, and pulling out those
One of those victories was by No. 2 player, Querrer, who knocked off Tengler, 6-4, 6-4. “Sheena won that one for her grandma, so that
The Lady Wolves had an early lead in the match,
two longer matches gave the girls a lot of excitement and focus going into the doubles matches,” Valentine said.
was a special match for her,” Valentine said. “Her grandma has been ill so she really wanted to win that for her.” Tengler has been limited in practice because of other school commitments. Schell knows she’ll be fine down
View photo by Casey Pritchard
ERIN CORY of Estrella Foothills hits a forehand return against Youngker Tuesday. Cory, the defending Division III state champion, won her singles match Tuesday and teamed with Mariah Tengler to win in doubles.
the road. “She’s going to get it together,” Schell said. “She was frustrated because she lost 4-6, 4-6. She knew, she said to me she was thinking about the results and the time she wasn’t out here, and she felt herself choking. It happens. But I’m really proud of them.” Bartram was the other Lady Rough Rider to pull out a close match, beating Skrtich 6-4, 6-4. Skrtich is just a freshman. “Amanda is one of these sponges that really listens closely and takes serious attention to everything I say,” Schell said. Youngker’s third singles win came from Rodriguez, who beat Hernandez, 6-0, 6-1.
Estrella got its three victories from Cory, Smith and Celaya. Cory, who is last year’s Division III state singles champion, beat Lewis 6-0, 6-0.
“Their No. 1 is so strong, we had a hard time handling her serves,” Valentine said, referring to Cory. “She’s just such a great player.”
Smith, who is also a freshman, beat Ducusin, 6-0, 6-2. Celaya knocked off Hilburn, 6-3, 6-2. It was a special victory for Celaya, as it was her first in the last two seasons. “That was huge,” Schell said. “I had no knowledge that she didn’t win a match last year, not one.”
(See Youngker on Page 15)
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