The tennis courts at Forest Lake Christian are about to host the top three contenders for the Golden Empire League championship within a 24-hour period.
Today, FLC serves into co-ed GEL action against Lindhurst, the defending league champion, in a 2:30 p.m. match.
FLC, which won the GEL in 2005, no doubt will be seeking results similar to those the Falcons found on Tuesday when Forest Lake Christian downed Marysville – the league champ in 2003 and 2004 – by a 5-4 margin.
The Falcons improved to 2-0 in the GEL, as did senior Megan Wieczorek at the girls No. 1 singles.
“In this league, you see a lot of variety (of competition),” said Wieczorek, a 7-5, 6-3 winner Tuesday. “Some are consistent players, like today, and some hit hard balls. My ability to adapt is important. If I can play their game and beat them at their own game, it can shake them up mentally.
“Mental is a large part of this. When I first started playing matches, it was so easy to get angry out there because it was just you out there.
“I think the best thing to do, for me, is just to slow the game down, and as corny as it sounds, just breathe. Just realize it’s for fun and play.”
Jenny Johnson, Wieczorek’s senior classmate and FLC’s No. 2 singles player on the girls side, seemed to do just that in her match Tuesday – one that eventually landed the Falcons in the win column.
After dropping both singles matches on the boys side, along with the No. 2 boys doubles match and the mixed doubles match, the team’s outcome essentially came down to whether Johnson would pull out a marathon of a match.
After taking the first set 7-5, Johnson fell in the second set 6-2. She then came back in the third set, taking a 3-0 lead and eventually winning 6-2.
“Actually,” Johnson said, “I didn’t realize that (the Falcons) had lost the other matches. So I didn’t know (the win hinged on her match).
“I’m very glad to have won. That’s great that our team could win the match.”
Another reason why the Falcons were victorious was a key win at No. 1 boys doubles, where Kit Bond and Ashton Santee eked out a 10-7 victory.
Santee, a first-year tennis player, meshed well with his teammate, which impressed their coach, Steve Robinson.
“That’s a big win for our team,” Robinson said. “To be that young at tennis and to be playing that well together … that’s great.”
The Falcons also got victories at girls doubles slots. The No. 1 doubles team of Chelsea Hanson and Torrey Haddad won 10-5, while the No. 2 team off Ali Robinson and Mia Sasaki scored a 10-0 victory.
As far as the GEL standings go, Robinson said he expects his Falcons to have faced the cream of the crop by the end of today’s match. But, he added, other GEL programs could also be markedly improved compared to past seasons.
“(Marysville and Lindhurst) are probably the top teams. I think so,” Robinson said, “unless San Juan or Capital (Christian) come up with good teams. That could happen for Capital, because they’re right around Gold River Racquet Club and I’ve heard they’ve been looking at a branch program there. Who knows? You just never know.
“I’m not one to go out and scout. I just try to prepare our team to play our best tennis.”
To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4240.
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The Little League District 11 postseason is off to a hot start.