ARCHBOLD — Six of the seven faces that comprise Bryan’s varsity girls tennis lineup are new this year, but that hasn’t stopped the Golden Bears from keeping up with their winning ways.
After a 5-0 sweep of Fostoria to open the season on Saturday, the Bears came away with 4-1 victory in a dual match against Archbold on Monday.
The Bears swept the singles spots. Bryan’s Jennessa Johnson won first singles 7-6 (3), 6-3 over Archbold’s Sophie Schramm, Kaitlyn Posey won second singles over Maggie Henry 6-1, 6-1 and Emilee Bassett won third singles over Sara Lovejoy 6-1, 6-0.
Archbold’s lone win came at first doubles, where Elizabeth Mignin and Mya Stuckey beat Bryan’s Brooke Taylor and Haylee Wheeler 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.
Bryan’s second doubles duo of Abby Snider and Kyla Fox beat Archbold’s Abby Short and Adriana Thompson 6-3, 6-3.
Bryan coach Mitchell Owens said he’s pleased with the start his team is off to, especially considering the amount of youth Bryan has in its lineup. Posey, Bassett, Taylor and Wheeler are all sophomores.
“This is certainly a rebuilding year playing all the young sophomores in our lineup,” Owens said. “We had some tight matches today, so it gave us an opportunity to see how we play under pressure and what things we need to work on. ... Archbold has a really solid lineup. ... I thought we were evenly matched and the scores certainly reflect a battle.”
Owens also liked how Johnson stepped up and won a lengthy two-set grudge match at first singles. As the team’s lone returning letterwinner, that’s the type of leadership Owens said he likes to see.
Johnson, who primarily played at second and third singles the last two years, said she was nervous about stepping up into first singles. But at the same time, the senior said she’s excited to help lead the team.
“I knew my coach was going to look to me to step into that role,” Johnson said. “He told me that he was counting on me and that put a lot of pressure on me. But hopefully this season I can keep winning matches and making him proud.
“I’ve only had two matches and today’s was my first one that was neck-and-neck. ... A lot of it was in my own head. I kept getting myself down ... but finally I ended up just chilling out, playing my own game and doing what I do best.”
Bryan returns to action today at Wauseon.