WHEELERSBURG — It was an early wakeup call, and a close call, for the Wheelersburg High School girls tennis team on Saturday.
But, bottom line, no matter how early or even how close, the host Lady Pirates were winners for the second time in as many matches.
That’s because Wheelersburg won both doubles contests, and got a convincing third singles victory from Isabella Hamilton, as the Lady Pirates edged Athens 3-2 in a non-league bout.
Originally set for first serve at 11 a.m., the matched got moved up by two hours to 9 a.m. — with weather-related concerns the reason being.
Wheelersburg, with the win, is now 2-0 —as the Lady Pirates pitched a 5-0 shutout over visiting Minford in their season and Southern Ohio Conference opener on Thursday.
All five matches against Athens ended up in straight sets, as Hamilton had the deciding triumph for the Lady Pirates —sweeping Athens’ Audrey Thompson by a 6-1 and 6-0 count.
That broke the 2-2 tie, as the Bulldogs benefited from the top two singles wins while Wheelersburg gained its doubles sweep.
At first doubles, senior Maegan Jolly and junior Emily Janney defeated Athens’ Xan Jordan and Katie Mosher by an identical 6-1 and 6-0 score.
At second doubles, Wheelersburg’s Avery Lowery and Aby Jones joined forces for a 6-2 and 6-1 sweep over Kylie Snider and Allison North.
At second singles, Serena Kataria of the Lady Pirates pushed Rachel Strickland in both sets —but still fell short 6-4 and 6-3.
Athens senior Anna Chen, at first singles, swept Maria Nolan 6-1 and 6-2 —as Chen is a returning Division II district qualifier as a singles player, having reached the semifinals last season.
In Chen’s sophomore season, she teamed with then-senior Ami Brannan —and the Bulldog duo qualified for the Division II state tournament as a doubles team.
In fact, Chen and Brannan were the runners-up to Wheelersburg’s district champion tandem of Kaitlyn Sommer and Maddie Gill.
The Lady Pirates return to SOC play on Tuesday —when they travel to Notre Dame for a key early-season league match.
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