Fluco girls’ tennis nudges out Orange

By Duncan Nixon, correspondent

Two evenly matched tennis teams took to the Fluvanna County High School courts Thursday (March 28), where the Flucos beat Orange County 5-4.

The format in high school tennis is six singles matches followed by three doubles matches. Each match is one point. Therefore, the number six singles match and the number three doubles matches, which may include more novice players, count just as much as the number one matchups. A team needs some depth to be successful. Rather than playing sets, in high school it is first to win 10 games in singles and first to win eight games in doubles.

In this match against Orange County, the outlook for the Flucos was not good early. At one point early in the competition, Orange led in five of the six singles matches. However, playing first to win 10 games is not a sprint. The Fluco players battled back to win four of the six singles matches.

Playing at number two, junior Sara White was able to pull out the closest victory of the evening, winning 10-9. White won despite feeling ill early in the match.

The Flucos prevailed in singles in the four, five and six slots. Playing at number four, senior Lydiah Napier had the easiest time, winning comfortably at 10-4. Two sophomores took the Flucos to the lead after the singles. Playing at number five, Nika Ackenbom was victorious 10-8, while Molli White, playing at number six, was able to prevail by a 10-7 score.

All six matches are played simultaneously on the six courts at the high school, so there is no building tension as there might be if the matches were played consecutively. However, playing consecutive matches would take all day.

In the doubles matches that followed the singles, the Hornets won the first and second doubles, but the Flucos managed to nab their fifth and match-winning point by taking the third doubles with a dominating 8-1 score. This winning doubles team consisted of Napier and White.

Fluco number one player senior Adora Gamage and number three player freshman Anja Baja were not able to come up with singles wins in this match, but Coach Feda Morton noted that Gamage has been very successful for the Flucos as their number one player for the past three years. Morton also noted that Baja is an excellent prospect, moving in at number three as a freshman.

This win takes the Fluco girls’ tennis team to an overall record of 3-1. Due to spring break, the team does not play again until April 9 when they travel to Charlottesville. On April 11 they will be at Powhatan. The girls’ team then returns home April 16 to host Albemarle High. On April 18 they travel to Western Albemarle.

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