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RedHawks hold fast against road Warriors
For the girls of the Mercy High tennis team, their trip Thursday to Colusa presented a formidable challenge against a RedHawk team seeking a return to the section championship match.
The Warriors spotted Colusa two matches before the first serve and lost 9-0.
Mercy (0-3) has just five players, but coach Dan Vroman expects to gain one more player next week, which will allow the Warriors to field a full team.
Colusa (5-1) rested its top four players to give its deep roster of quickly improving youngsters an opportunity to play in a match that matters.
Cheyenne Laux moved up to the top of the RedHawks' ladder to face off against Mercy's Stefanie Cheek in the No. 1 singles match, winning 6-2, 6-4.
Cheek is the only Mercy player returning from last year and the four other players are new to the game, Vroman said.
Three of the Warriors' five players are exchange students from China who have little to no tennis experience, according to Vroman.
"Tennis is a tough game to learn but they're showing some improvement," he said.
The RedHawks' Taylor Davies defeated Haley Gao 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 2 singles match. Davies, a junior who made the transition from volleyball to tennis this year, is one of the RedHawks' more aggressive players and she isn't shy about going for the kill shot at any time, coach Jim Imhoff said.
"(Davies) is a hard hitter, she doesn't get in many rallies. She likes to end the point and hit hard. She's going to be really tough next year."
Sidney Wills, a senior, is already on the verge of cracking the RedHawks' top six, moving up to the varsity squad for a day and claiming a 6-0, 6-0 win against Lia Li.
"I've got some girls that this is their first year and I've have some upperclassmen who it's their first year and they got to play today. They got to do what we've been doing in practice so I'm very pleased with the results today," Imhoff said.
Ashley Cotter beat a tough opponent in Irlanda Hernandez 6-1, 6-1, and Ann Kalisuch and Ying He played a marathon match that Kalisuch won 6-0, 6-1.
Rosie Morales and Haley Lyss teamed up to beat Cheek and Hernandez in the No. 1 doubles match, 8-3.
Kodie Solis and Gabrielle Garcia overcame a good effort by Gao and Li, two of the Warriors' three exchange students from China, 8-4.
Colusa hosts league favorite Live Oak on Tuesday and an always tough Willows team on Thursday. The match against Live Oak will be a good barometer for the RedHawks because the Lions are loaded with seniors and are the most experienced team in the section.
The challenge will be good for the RedHawks and they aren't intimidated by the Lions' powerful lineup, Imhoff said.
"I think we're as good or better this year than we were last year even with the inexperience. By the end of the year, I'm looking forward to it."
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.