Coach Brenda McBride admits that the match at Manheim Township served as a learning opportunity for her and the team
The Bears traveled to take on the Section 1 power for their season opener on Monday, Aug. 28, and did not win a game in a 7-0 defeat.
“They have an incredibly strong program. [Athletic Director Linda] Ahern has a saying that, ‘You either win or you learn.’ We were hoping to learn a lot,” McBride said. “Really I just tell my girls that we know the Manheim Township girls have been playing tennis all their life. They play five days a week, year round. Girls who just picked up their racket as freshmen can’t expect to compete at the level.”
Finding the correct doubles teams and developing a level of consistency with them is an area that McBride would like to see her grow in the upcoming matches.
“We need to be increasing our consistency and placement. The Manheim Township girls could put the ball wherever they wanted. We need more depth on our shots and we need to be moving our feet. The girls told me that they realized they needed to be faster,” McBride said.
The match came after a competitive scrimmage against Donegal on Thursday, Aug. 24, that had the feel of a real match, according to McBride.
Lauren Musser won her No. 4 singles match while Maddie Musser battled her opponent to a third set tiebreaker at No. 2 singles.
Emily Oyler and Claire Hackenberg were paired together for No. 2 doubles and McBride thought that the two played a “solid” match.
“It was an intense match between two very evenly matched teams that came down to a few select points. While they ended up dropping the match 8-6, it was great preparation and I believe [the scrimmage] will give both teams some confidence going into the season,” McBride said. “At this level of tennis you love to see girls of similar ability levels engage in tight matches and push each other. That’s just what we got in that match.”
McBride also believed that the scrimmage posed as a way for her players to get into the rhythm of a tennis match.
“The match was just perfect preparation for us heading into the regular season. It gave our players much-needed match experience and helped each of them to feel the intensity of a regular season match,” McBride said.