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PLYMOUTH â€” It was youth versus experience, and experience won decisively.
Plymouth's veteran girls tennis team gave up a total of just three games in a victory over visiting John Glenn's inexperienced squad for a 5-0 meet win as both teams unveiled their new lineups in their season-opener at Plymouth Thursday.
Plymouth's lineup includes just two underclassmen, while Glenn boasts just one junior and one senior, and that experience gap was reflected in Thursday's lopsided decision.
"It's always good to start with a win," said Plymouth head girls tennis coach Brad Haeck. "We've been through some possible lineup combinations and we put this one out today and for the most part, we like what we sawâ€¦ The first match is always tough because you have some nerves and sometimes it's difficult if you're playing a position you're not used to. Glenn had a lot of girls that haven't even played matches competitively so I know they were nervous, and then we had some people playing in positions they're not used to."
"I think we have to work on a lot of fundamentals," said Glenn head coach Tammy Pudlo. "New players and we just really have to work on fundamentals and teaching them to hit the ball and serve and even keep score. We just have a long way to go, and it'll be a teaching year."
In singles play, Plymouth No. 1 Erin Kinney beat Anna Schmalzried 6-2, 6-0, while Kelly Hoeffler celebrated her birthday at the No. 2 spot and Meagan Barron made her return at 3 singles with respective 6-0, 6-0 wins over Paige Ullery and Kassi O'Brien.
In doubles play, meanwhile, Plymouth No. 1 tandem Shannon Elliott and Lindsay Renz handed Allison Pudlo and Lauren Palfi a 6-0, 6-0 defeat, while Marissa German and Chelsea Thoden beat Victoria Clark and Sara Wolf 6-0, 6-1.
Both Barron and Kinney make the move up to singles play from doubles for Plymouth. Barron returned from running track last season after two varsity seasons at doubles, while Kinney made her debut at No. 1.
Kinney said the change has required some adjustment.
"I'm a very aggressive person usually, so I like to go to the net and volley and slam the ball down," she said. "But at singles I have to be more patient and pick my spots and figure out where the best spot would be instead of how hard I hit it, so that's a bit tough for me."
The Lady Pilgrims should be strong in 2011 with its veteran cast and a depth of talent.
"Not much separates even our top seven," said Haeck. "They're just so even. You come in with an idea of where girls may play, and the challenge matches play their way out and you find combinations for doubles. We've got a lot of girls that are close together, and hopefully we all accept our roles well wherever we're at and we feel like that's the best lineup for our team."
By contrast, Glenn may struggle with some growing pains with one junior in Schmalzried and a senior in Ullery, but Pudlo said the team's worth ethic and attitude are where they need to be to make the necessary improvements.
"I think that the girls have a good attitude," said Pudlo. "They have a positive attitude, and they're willing to put the time in and work so that's going to help. They're very coachable. We don't have anybody with a bad attitude."
â€˘ PLYMOUTH 5,
JOHN GLENN 0
Singles: 1. Erin Kinney beat Anna Schmalzried 6-2, 6-0 Â 2. Kelly Hoeffler beat Paige Ullery 6-0, 6-0 Â 3. Meagan Barron beat Kassi O'Brien 6-0, 6-0.
Doubles: 1. Shannon Elliott-Lindsay Renz beat Allison Pudlo-Lauren Palfi 6-0, 6-0 Â 2. Marissa German-Chelsea Thoden beat Victoria Clark-Sara Wolf 6-0, 6-1.
Records: Plymouth 1-0, John Glenn 0-1
J.V. Score: Plymouth 5, John Glenn 0