By John Bombatch
JAMESTOWN — There’s a reason that a perennial tennis powerhouse like Miami Valley School enjoys facing Greeneview every year, and it has nothing to do with the match results.
“We like to play a lot of teams that are outside of our area, that we’ve built a friendship with,” Miami Valley coach Vin Romeo said. “They enjoy playing us; we enjoy playing them. My girls enjoy playing tennis in any situation, but they respect the way Greeneview plays the game. And it’s good to be a part of that.”
With more than 1,200 high school tennis coaching victories to his credit, Romeo was recognized as Ohio’s winningest high school tennis coach last season.
The more experienced Miami Valley team claimed a 5-0 win, but you wouldn’t have sensed a shutout loss or win was in the offing, as both teams appeared to thoroughly enjoy just competing against each other.
Despite the hot and muggy conditions at Frank Seaman Park just east of Greeneview High, some of the Rams players even stayed after the match to play a few matches with their friends.
“We’re an inexperienced team. I have two seniors, but neither of them have played for us all four years,” Greeneview girls tennis coach Cindy Terrill explained. “And I have three juniors and I have three freshmen on the squad. So the freshmen are jumping right into playing varsity tennis, and they are all out here having fun and giving it their best effort.”
Romeo was impressed by the Rams’ hustle. He pointed at a Rams player with a long pigtail who was running down a shot down the right alley.
“She has been chasing everything down today. I don’t know her name, but her hustle has been frustrating our kids. She’s everywhere, and that kind of hustle is great to see,” Romeo said. “If she gets paired up with maybe one of their solid singles players for the post-season, they could have a pretty good doubles team.
“They’re young, but they’ve only played three matches. We’ve already played 12, so that’s a distinct advantage for us,” Romeo said. Miami Valley doesn’t belong to a league, and so Romeo says he plans on talking to his athletic director to make sure they play Greeneview next season, to keep the friendly rivalry going.
At first singles, Logan Wilson dropped a 6-0, 6-2 decision to Kinnera Vallabhanena of Miami Valley. Senior Maessie Frauenknecht fell 6-0, 6-0 to Olivia Schreyer at second singles, and senior Samantha Spitler lost 6-1, 6-0 at third singles to Valley’s Elizabeth Johnson.
In doubles, freshman Lizzie Adkinks and junior Lauren Carroll lost 6-3, 6-1 to Adele Taylor and Kelsey Tobin. Junior Leslie Freetag and freshman Katie Hilbig fell 6-0, 6-0 to Miami Valley’s Christine Salel-Elen Karras duo.
Wednesday’s match was the Rams’ third in three days.
“Being an inexperienced group, our first goal for each match is to teach the girls the proper swing form. And we’ve created our team goals around the Rams nickname.
R - is for Respect. A - is for Attitude. M - is for Mental toughness, and S - is for a Strong finish.
Greeneview (0-3) has a match on the road against Camden Preble Shawnee on Sept. 3, then they’ll participate in the Northridge Fall Classic regular season tournament on Saturday, Sept. 6.
“Then we’re playing pretty much four matches every week for the rest of the season,” Terrill said. “We’re inexperienced, but we’re having fun and are getting better every day.”
(John Bombatch is Sports Editor for the Greene County Newspapers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)