Consistent play lifts Tamaqua
BOB FORD/TIME NEWS Jim Thorpe's Gabbie Binder retuns a shot during her match against Tamaqua's Nicki Mateyak. Mateyak posted a 6-1, 7-5 win.
If consistency was the subject of the message the Tamaqua girls tennis team was trying to send the Lady Olympians Thursday evening then consider that message delivered. The Lady Raiders pulled out a 3-2 decision that came down to a number two doubles match with Tamaqua finishing off Thorpe with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 doubles victory.
Tamaqua's main reason for winning the match was their solid singles play where they took two out of three from Thorpe. Carly Fenstermacher and Nicki Matuyak were the two victors for the Lady Raiders with both players consistently striking the ball over the net frustrating the opposition.
"My goal is always to play consistent tennis and be a consistent player", said number one Tamaqua singles player Carly Fenstermacher. "When you continuously get the ball over the net, you make the other player work hard, and that's when they sometimes make a mistake."
Fenstermacher did a good job of improving her game over the Summer moving from the J.V. squad last season to varsity number one singles player this year.
"I put in a lot of work this Summer", added Fenstermacher. "I practiced a lot and I am still working everyday because I believe it really pays off."
Tamaqua's number two singles player Nicki Matuyak also had a fine day on the court using the same kind of consistent play Fenstermacher used to beat her opponent.
"I believe that consistency is better than power", said Matuyak. "Mostly because power isn't consistent at our level."
Lady Raider Head Coach Jennel Yelito agrees with Matuyak's philosophy.
"I stress being consistent a lot to the girls", said Yelito. "At this level if you play consistent you will win a lot of points. It also makes you mentally tough and with this team being very young that mentality really helps us."
Yelito believes that her girls are doing a great job of stepping in for the seniors that left from last season.
"We lost our top four players from last year's team", added Yelito. "They are doing very well filling in for the players we lost. We have a lot of kids who like hitting around and who really enjoy the game of tennis."
The Lady Olympians showed promise winning the number three singles match and number one doubles contest. The teams were very evenly matched and Thorpe Head Coach Norby Lienhard believes his team was right there the entire way.
"It was a competitive match", said Lienhard. "They were consistent throughout and at the end it really came down to who was going to make more mistakes."
Lienhard knows his team is getting better but needs to work towards some things before they can hit their winning stride.
"We need to work on ball placement," added the Thorpe coach. "Right now we can't hit the ball where we want and once we learn how do that will be a better team."
With the win the Lady Raiders improve to 2-4 while the Olympians drop to 1-2.
Tamaqua 3, Jim Thorpe 2
Carly Fenstermacher (T) def. Kasey Herman, 6-1, 6-2; Nicki Mateyak (T) def. Gabbie Binder, 6-1, 7-5; Haley Cope (JT) def. Sarah Zoba, 6-4, 6-2.
Carly Marzer/Gabby Kline (JT) def. Taylor Urban/Emily Hansler, 6-0, 6-0; Vicky Krouse/Laine Confer (T) def. Maria Donati/Lindsay Copper, 6-4,3-6, 6-2.