The Lady Wildcats defeated Osborne, 5-0, before winning both of their matches Saturday — the first one coming at Woodland’s home court — against Excel Christian, 3-2, and Laney, 5-0.
The Wildcats also defeated each of those teams.
The weekend deviated from what the Woodland girls had experienced in their first few matches of the season.
“We’ve had a rough season so far. I lost three wonderful seniors last year. It’s pretty much a rebuilding year [for us],” Lady Wildcats coach Beth Heath said of her team’s 0-5 start. “I have moved girls around. I’ve got two wonderful little freshmen that have come up and are going to play varsity.”
Heath continued to shuffle her lineup at the tournament, where she had to move each of her singles players up a spot with Anna Curtis, the team’s usual No. 1, missing the action due to a prior engagement with Future Business Leaders of America.
Against the Lady Cardinals on Friday, No. 1 Veronica Munsey defeated K. Ruff, 6-0, 6-1; No. 2 Tinsley Wiley defeated M. Hammond, 6-0, 6-1; and No. 3 Erin Hill defeated E. Hamilton, 6-1, 6-0, in singles play.
Woodland got wins in doubles from No. 1 tandem Amanda Weldon and Whitney Mathis, who won 6-1, 6-1 against K. Greely and J. Brown, and Madison Cowart and Susie Beltran, who also won 6-1, 6-1 against O. Monsanto and M. Escamillia.
In the Lady Wildcats’ second match of the tournament, they picked up their best win of the weekend, besting the Lady Eagles.
“The wonderful thing is we beat Excel without two of our starters,” Heath said. “That’s what makes our girls think we are stronger than we think we are.”
Wiley, who did not lose a match all weekend, beat Kathryn Harris 6-1, 6-4 in Woodland’s only singles win, and both doubles teams preserved the victory by sweeping their matches, which were both shortened.
Mathis and Weldon defeated Nikki Burkhalter and Taylor Vaughn 6-2, 5-5 (retired) after the match was stopped in the second set following an Excel player being hit in the eye with the ball.
With the Lady Eagles, who played three matches Saturday, needing to make it to their second match of the day, Heath said the format switched to an eight-game, pro set. The Lady Wildcats’ Cowart and Beltran won 9-8, taking a 7-3 tiebreaker over Betsy Lochridge and Hallie Wachsmuth.
Woodland’s losses came at No. 1 singles, Excel’s Abbey Hibbard over Munsey, 6-0, 6-1, and Caroline Moore over Hill, 6-2, 6-3.
Despite losing to the Lady Eagles’ Hibbard, the Lady Wildcats’ coach praised the play of Munsey in one of the better matches of the tourney.
“The score doesn’t indicate how close that match was,” Heath said. “[Munsey] took her to deuce every single game, yet she lost the match. … You really would have thought that match would have been [closer].
“She’s normally our No. 2, and she stepped it up and played Line 1 all weekend.”
In its final match, Woodland swept Laney, with Munsey (6-3, 6-0), Tinsley (6-0, 6-0) and Hill (6-0, 6-0) winning in singles, and Weldon and Mathis (6-0, 6-0) and Cowart and Beltran (6-0, 6-1) earning wins in doubles.
The Lady Wildcats (3-5) endured nothing but losses prior to this weekend, including a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Coosa in the season opener and a 4-1 loss to Rome Thursday.
“We kind of got down,” Heath acknowledged of the losing skid. “Winning this weekend has really boosted their confidence. They had smiles on their faces when they left the court.”
Woodland hosts Excel Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Wildcats extend winning streak
Woodland’s boys tennis team has gotten itself in a groove lately, winning five matches since March 10, including three at the Cass tournament.
The Wildcats recorded wins over Osborne, 4-1, Friday and Excel Christian and Laney, both 5-0, Saturday.
Woodland winners against the Cardinals included Conner Nichols, 6-7 (4-7), 6-0, 10-8 (super-tiebreak) vs. Evan Phillips; Chase Still, 6-1, 6-2 vs. Boris Reljak; Adam Tobin and Corey Tobin, 6-0, 6-0 vs. Ryan Jones and Corey Clay; and Derek Everett and John Tate, who won by forfeit.
Keegan Shinall lost 6-3, 6-3.
Against the Eagles, Wildcats winners were Nichols, 6-1, 6-2 vs. Ben Perkins; Still, 6-1, 6-1 vs. Stephen Barton; Shinall, 6-3, 7-6 (7-0) vs. LaChaz Phillips; Adam Tobin and Corey Tobin, 6-0, 6-0 vs. Andrew Tyree and Jake Newhouse; and Everett and Tate (forfeit).
Woodland also swept Laney, with wins coming from Nichols, 6-0, 6-1 vs. J. Jones; Still, 6-0, 6-4 vs. T. Rodgers; Shinall, 6-1, 6-2 vs. D. White; Adam Tobin and Corey Tobin, 6-0, 6-0 vs. A. Oliver and R. Fields; and Everett and Tate, 6-1, 6-0 vs. G. Truesdall and D. Walker.
“It’s always a challenge to maintain a high standard when faced with different looks at the ball than we’ve become accustomed. Still, in the end, we were successful in keeping a high winner-to-unforced error ratio,” Wildcats coach Kevin Tant said. “Many of the matches were thrilling to watch, despite the somewhat lopsided scores. For example, there were two great battles at singles one, but Conner came away with wins nevertheless. My doubles team of Adam and Corey Tobin were successful in not allowing a single game to be won against them in the tournament.
“I’m very proud of all my players, and we look forward to continuing our winning ways.”
Woodland began its week with a convincing 4-1 win against Rome Thursday, which — coupled with a 3-2 win over Allatoona last Thursday, March 10 — helped spur the Wildcats’ current hot streak.
Woodland (6-3) hosts Excel Thursday.