PREPS Canfield tennis finishes third in doubles classic
Upper Arlington won the four-team event Saturday.
By MARK W. MILLER
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
BOARDMAN -- Defending Division I state doubles champions Renee Lesnett and Rachel McGowan of Canfield High, in their opening match, lost to Christine Johnston and Sydnee Bridger of Upper Arlington, 8-1, in the second Canfield Doubles Classic Saturday at the Boardman Tennis Center.
The tournament was moved from Canfield's courts because of rain and it was played in a pro-set format.
Upper Arlington took first place with 15 points. Rocky River Magnificat was second with 10, Canfield third with nine and Hathaway Brown finished with two.
The four schools had doubles teams in four flights with each team playing three matches.
Playing in Fight A, the Cardinals defeated Magnificat 8-4 and Hathaway Brown, which has won two Div. II state titles, 8-5.
"Upper Arlington had powerful serves that made us get off the court for returns and they were especially strong at the net," said Lesnett.
Added McGowan: "It's important for us to play this kind of competition. We are defending state champs and everybody is out to get us."
The Cardinals aren't likely to meet Upper Arlington again in doubles competition, because Johnson and Bridger play singles.
Johnson, who sat out most of last season with a stress back injury, said, "It felt pretty good playing Canfield. You have to concentrate on every point to beat a doubles team like theirs."
Added Bridger: "I made it in doubles to state last year and we finished third.
"I love tennis. Its very competitive. It's you and the other team out there, that's what it's all about and to play someone like Canfield is special."
After rebounding with the 8-4 win over Magnificat, Lesnett said, "it made us feel a little better. We were more aggressive, confident and attacked a lot better."
"Our poaching helped us," said McGowan, referring to when a return ball is supposed to go to the backcourt person and the doubles partner crosses over and punches the ball over the net.
Canfield coach Pat Pavlansky, in his 11th season, said, "We would have liked to win our flight, but what was important was what we learned today in all the flights."
Other Cardinal teams
Playing in Flight B for Canfield were senior Jullian Nard and sophomore Lauren Sulick. In Flight C were seniors Danielle Hively and Danielle Pavlansky and Flight D were freshmen Christina Brant and Julie Sorg and sophomore Dana Griesmer.
"Its important for us to play this kind of competition," said Pat Pavlansky. "Our non-league schedule is tough and that makes it a lot of fun for us."
During the regular season, McGowan (5-0) plays No. 1 singles and Lesnett (4-1) plays No. 2 singles.