Bears fall in opening round
nancy scholz/times news Pleasant Valley's Madison Olexson (left) and Kara Urland walk to the net during their District 11 doubles match.
Pleasant Valley coach Mark Allison knew coming into the season that there would be somewhat of a learning curve for his team, which had no seniors and was laden with sophomores throughout their roster. He had the same feeling coming into the District 11 Doubles Tournament, knowing that he was sending two of his sophomores Madison Olexson and Kara Urland into battle against teams that would be more experienced.
Olexson and Urland comprised the only team that the Bears had in the tournament. Olexson also competed in last weekend's singles tournament, while the tournament was the first district tournament exposure for Urland.
In the preliminary round of the tournament, the Pleasant Valley tandem was matched up against Stroudsburg's Katie Catina and Megan McDonald, who both played in the district doubles tournament last season, but with different partners.
Allison watched as his girls battled against the two more experienced players, but eventually fell 6-4, 6-3 and ended Pleasant Valley's run in the tournament. Catina and McDonald struggled to break serve throughout the match, which would prove to be their undoing in the end.
"We had two sophomores playing for us today and they got good experience out of this, so it was worth it," said Allison.
While Olexson and Urland lost in straight sets, it provided a glimpse of what figures to be a bright future for Pleasant Valley tennis. With nine sophomores and three juniors on this year's team, Allison has a lot to look forward to.
"I think what you saw today was representative of our team," explained Allison. "The future is very bright and we've got some good young players to watch."