FAIRBORN — Having lost all but two players from his team after last season, Fairborn coach Doug Coy wasn’t sure what to expect when his 2019 team took to the Community Park courts to take on visiting Carroll on Aug. 13.
As it turns out, his Skyhawks were in a better situation than the visiting Patriots who were shorthanded. Fairborn won all three contested matches and claimed a pair of default wins to claim a 5-0 victory, in the season opening match for both area schools.
“We lost a lot of players, but we had a great turnout for training over the summer. We were worried about whether we’d have enough players. … But we have 16 kids, and they have come out and worked hard all summer long, and have played hard. We had workouts two days a week through June and July, and we had 10-12 girls for each workout. This is by far the best summer training session I’ve ever had here,” Coy said.
In a battle of lefties, Fairborn freshman southpaw Eva Gibson battled Carroll’s Zhenya Huber in the longest match of the afternoon. Gibson took the first singles match 6-2, 6-4, and was soon mobbed by her teammates, who had finished before her. Gibson’s win assured the Skyhawks of a shutout win. The team had recorded two shutout wins in all of last season.
Fairborn also claimed contested wins at second singles where junior Caitlyn Bowling claimed a quick 6-1, 6-1 win over Carroll’s Riley Holkema. The Skyhawk first doubles duo of juniors Melissa Le and Mackenzie Taylor defeated Carroll’s Regan Holkema and Catherine Barclay by a 6-0, 6-1 tally.
Freshman Myleigh Smith got a default win at third singles, and the second doubles tandem of junior Alyssa Carter and sophomore Katelyn Connors also got a default win.
“We’re just tickled to death with this win,” Coy said. “It was nice to have an opening match against Carroll, a team that was pretty evenly matched with us. … All three of the matches that were contested had a lot of close games — where there would be multiple deuce games, and things like that — and our girls won those key points. There were 6-0 sets that were a lot closer than that.”
Carroll coach Elisabeth Emser was encouraged by her team’s play as well, despite the loss.
“We were a little short-handed today, but the girls who were out there, they played hard and had a lot of fun,” Emser said. “We needed girls for the team, and we’re glad to have them out there. They’re beginners, but in the past week and a half, I’ve already seen them getting better. That’s all that I can ask for.
“… It was a great first start, and we’re looking forward to getting even better with each time that we take the court.”
Fairborn (1-0) is scheduled to host Stivers for its next match, a 4:30 p.m. contest on Monday, Aug. 19 back at Fairborn’s Community Park. Carroll (0-1) has its first Greater Catholic League Co-Ed match of the season next, a 4 p.m. contest in Dayton against host Chaminade Julienne.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.