XENIA — The Fairborn girls tennis team topped the Xenia Lady Bucs, 5-0, in a Miami Valley League, Valley Division match at the Greene County Fairgrounds Thursday. The win keeps the Skyhawks atop the division having won 5 of their 8 matches.
Sophomore Eva Gibson used her big serve and aggressive ground strokes to top Leah Pagett, 6-1, 6-0, in the first singles match. Gibson battled the steady 15 mile per hour winds, which at times gusted to 25.
“I had to shorten my toss and lessen the pace on the serve because it was being affected by the wind,” Gibson said. “I also had to adjust my backhand and hit more shots cross court.” With the win, Gibson improves to 5-3.
The remaining matches were more tightly contested. Fairborn’s Caitlin Bowling outlasted Xenia’s Allie Bogan, 6-3, 7-5, at second singles. Fairborn’s Tayla Green battled through multiple long rallies to beat Xenia’s Cayce Jones, 7-5, 6-4, in the third singles match. It was Green’s fourth win in five tries at third singles this season. Jones dropped to 3-5.
Xenia’s Julia King and Autumn McCray fell to Kenzie Taylor and Alyssa Carter, 3-6, 5-7, at first doubles. It was a match that epitomized both the rivalry and camaraderie of the matches.
“Absolutely,” said King, “it’s always fun to play against friendly people. It just makes a better environment to play, whether or not you win or lose.”
“It’s a great way to make friends too” added McCray. “When you get to play teams more than once, it is great to come back and you’re already friends, so you are not worries or stressed out or anything.”
Second doubles paired two teams which had won four of their previous five matches. Fairborn’s Rylee Hensley and Myleigh Smith topped Xenia’s Madison Moorman and Aubrey O’Bryant, 6-3, 6-4.
Despite the loss, Xenia head coach Kay Scott liked what she saw from her squad.
“Even though it’s a loss, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they didn’t play well. We just want to continue to improve. It doesn’t always mean you win, but we want to improve and we are doing so,” Scott said.
Fairborn coach Josh Steck agreed.
“With a rivalry like this, you always know you can throw out the won loss records,” he said. “It was definitely a nice match and a great win for us.”
A trip to Sidney for a crossover match awaits the Skyhawks for their next match. Xenia, 1-8, will host West Carrollton. Both games are set for next Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Matt Goeller is a free lance writer for Greene County News.