Plum tennis players still hungry for wins
The Plum varsity girls tennis team is a mixture of veterans and varsity newcomers hungry for Section 3-AAA victories, and the Mustangs picked up an important section win Monday against Gateway.
The 4-1 win put Plum at 3-4 in section play.
“No matter what the situation has been, they've battled tough,” Plum head coach Lori Senkewitz said.
“There have been a number of three-set matches.”
Plum started play 0-3 with 5-0 losses against Shady Side Academy, Fox Chapel and Woodland Hills before a 4-1 win against McKeesport. The Mustangs suffered a 4-1 loss to Shaler and responded by beating Penn Hills, 5-0, on Sept. 6.
Senkewitz said team members played a number of close individual matches in the team contests against Woodland Hills and Shaler, and the team is looking forward to both rematches.
In Monday's triumph against Gateway, Plum got straight-set victories from seniors Julie Lester and Christen Kraemer at No. 2 and 3 singles, respectively.
Also picking up straight-set wins were senior Jess Kenny and junior Maria Campbell at No. 1 doubles and sophomore Ashley Alpino and junior Danielle Davido at No. 2 doubles.
Junior Brittney Sembower lost a two-set match to Gateway senior Gabby LaMarca at No. 1 singles.
Freshman Emily Yester has played a couple of matches this season in place of Kraemer when Kraemer was out battling through a shoulder injury.
Yester was the lone winner in Plum's loss to Shaler last week, as she was victorious at No. 3 singles. It was the first win of her varsity career.
“She was very consistent with her serve and hit her shots down the line,” Senkewitz said. “I was proud to see her do so well.”
Senkewitz said a quartet of young players got a chance to play in the varsity win against McKeesport.
Freshmen Tori Monstrola and Angela Campbell lost at No. 1 doubles, but sophomore Kaylie Ressler and freshman Mikayla Slota won at No. 2 doubles.
Sembower and Lester will represent Plum at the Section 3 singles tournament Thursday at noon at Fox Chapel High School.
The top three finishers will advance to next week's WPIAL singles championship.
Plum was slated to face Fox Chapel in a section match Wednesday, and the contest was to be played past the deadline for this week's edition.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.