By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
When ladies’ tennis expanded to 3 Courses this fall and new district assignments got here out, the Glendale Falcons started considering large.
Glendale moved to Class 2 District 5. That meant no Class 3 faculties like Kickapoo, Catholic or Central lurking within the bracket.
“It was so good,” stated Glendale senior and No. 2 singles Bella Martino. “When coach advised us we had been on this district, we had been like, ‘We’ve an opportunity. That is our yr.’”
The Falcons seized their probability.
Glendale swept Camdenton 5-0 within the Class 2 District 5 event finals on Thursday at Cooper Tennis Complicated in Springfield.
It’s Glendale’s first district title as a group since 2016. The Falcons play Republic on Monday, with a visit to the state closing 4 on the road.
Glendale gained 6-3 at Republic on Sept. 21, however the Tigers had been with out their high singles participant for the match.
Glendale’s made it this far with a high six that features two seniors, one junior, one sophomore and two freshmen.
“Numerous it’s group comradery,” Martino stated. “We see one another round college, everyone knows one another. At follow, we have now enjoyable. We be certain we all know what we’re doing, we have now head on our shoulders and we’re right here to win but additionally have enjoyable.”
Glendale’s No. 1, sophomore Lucy Huang, swept her singles match (6-0, 6-0) and bought one other victory in doubles with freshman associate Chloe Stenger (8-0).
Age clever, Huang ought to be a freshman. She certified for state final yr as a would-be eighth grader going towards juniors and seniors.
“You may actually see the bodily distinction,” stated Glendale coach Mark Penticuff. “Now, I can undoubtedly inform a distinction in her energy and pace. I’m trying ahead to her getting stronger, as a result of meaning her serves are more durable, her floor strokes are more durable and every little thing’s more practical. That’s what she wants.”
Glendale knew what to anticipate coming into Thursday.
Glendale beat Camdenton 5-0 within the Ozark Convention Match on Sept. 29. The Falcons additionally had some rematches once more on the particular person/doubles district event final weekend.
“It was good to see our scores maintain up from once we performed them earlier,” Penticuff stated. “I used to be extra frightened about us being flat at this time.”
The Falcons took additional precautions to make sure they might play into October.
For practices, Glendale break up its gamers into teams and didn’t permit any interactions. Gamers didn’t even share balls.
The Falcons had been prepared for any potential in-season quarantines – which occurred to 1 group.
“If anyone did must quarantine, they had been it,” Penticuff stated. “And that’s what occurred. We had been in all probability essentially the most podded and guarded group.”
For gamers like senior Lauren Hamm, this fall has been a aid.
Final spring, she had her junior soccer season taken away as a result of COVID-19 shutdown.
“I used to be sort of scared that it will occur for tennis, however it hasn’t,” she stated. “It was very nice attending to play the season, although we had been getting ready for the worst. I’m actually glad we bought the season in.”
Martino stated it’s been a problem making an attempt to remain constructive understanding that fall athletes may endure the same destiny.
“It was simply terrible seeing the spring sports activities – particularly the seniors – having their season taken away,” Martino stated. “Coming in, being seniors now, it was actually arduous to remain constructive in regards to the season. It was arduous to care at occasions, as a result of any day we may very well be shut down.”
Penticuff stated the Falcons have tried to remain centered on the season and never fear about an abrupt ending.
“On the very starting, it was the massive query. ‘What if? What if?’” Penticuff stated. “We simply stated, ‘We’re not enjoying “What if?” We’re simply enjoying.’ As soon as the season began, it was not even like a dialog.”
Glendale 5, Camdenton 0
(1) Huang/C. Stenger def. Hultz/Watson, 8-0
(2) Martino/Liggett def. Bergstrom/McGuire, 8-5
(3) Beatty/Hamm def. Borbe/Ernst, 8-0
(1) Huang def. Hultz, 6-0 and 6-0
(6) Hamm def. Ernst, 6-1 and 6-0