CAPTION: Sophia Trudeau hits winner en route to capturing her singles match against Belton New Tech Aug. 31. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
The Marble Falls High School tennis team crushed Belton New Tech 17-2 Aug. 31 to win its first overall point in the District 18-4A team tennis standings.
Two of the boys doubles matches went to tiebreakers, and Marble Falls won both. The Mustangs (1-1) won six of the seven doubles matches and 11 of the 12 singles matches and had won the all important 10th match, which guarantees the overall match winner in team tennis, by 6:45 p.m. Their performances were simply dominant.
Head coach Samuel Whitley credited the total to one important difference.
“Conditioning,” he said. “We practice in the afternoon, we practice in the heat. They have courts available to them in the morning, they don’t have courts available in the afternoon. The heat – that’s a lot of it.”
Some New Tech players were absolutely spent and retired before the match was decided. Others competed well for one set and didn’t have the stamina to keep the other set close.
“You have nothing left and you’re not in shape, you don’t have anything to play with,” Whitley said. “We’re competing against anybody we’re playing through hard work in practice. (My players are) building up their stamina. I can’t say that enough. You’re able to push through when you’re tired, too.”
As happy as he was for the top of the Marble Falls ladder, where the Mustangs won convincingly, Whitley pointed out some Marble Falls players won for the first time since joining the program.
“All Kimberly Solarzano did was get the ball across to the other side of the court,” the coach said. “You get the ball across, you put pressure on them to hit a winner. It’s a big thing for our mid-level players, to hit the ball back across the net.”
While the Mustangs didn’t win the district title against New Tech, they did add an important point after barely losing to Lago Vista last week. Currently, the district members are playing for seedings with the top two teams hosting first round district matches during the tournament in a few weeks.
“It’s just another brick in the wall,” the coach said. “We are building something because we are trying to establish a good tennis program.”
And he noted it’s great the players get the reward of winning.
“The kids have confidence,” he said. “They come out with more swagger. It’s the feeling that comes with winning. It’s important. Those kids are working hard to build a firm foundation.”
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CAPTION: Marble Falls sophomore Cooper Womack won his singles and doubles matches against Belton New Tech. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro