Tiger tennis steadily improving

Saturday, September 20, 2014
Matt Resnick/Daily Mail/ Nevada tennis player Ellie Pruitt, returns a serve Friday in doubles action.

Nevada Daily Mail

Nevada Tigers tennis coach Samantha Short said she has been impressed by the recent play of her team, after they defeated Harrisonville and Lamar as will as winning a tournament in Monett in last week.

Short said a familiarity in competition has also helped.

"We're not playing easier teams, but now we're playing teams that we're used to playing," she said. "I think it's coming around for us."

Short said she has seen a noticeable improvement in the play of Ellie Pruitt.

"She was struggling at the beginning with consistency," Short said. "And now that's come around, she's moving better.

The doubles duo of Courtney Smith and Sydnie Baker also received praise from Short, who mentioned consistency as a factor with their turnaround as well.

"Now they're winning some matches, and their feet are moving, and it's paying off."

Nevada sophomore Jaiden Cherry, and freshman Emma Cheaney, have also fared well as of late in doubles play.

"They're a very strong No. 3 doubles (team)," she said. "They're way over .500 right now."

Short added that she is impressed by Cheaney's play as a freshman.

"She had good ground strokes but she didn't know how to play doubles," Short said. "So she's finally coming into that. And being able to read the ball, and play the net, the way a varsity player should be able to play the net."

Short said she would still like to see her squad improve in specific areas.

"You can always work on stamina," she said. "When you have these long matches the girls don't realize they're going to get into ---- you need to do some out-of-season conditioning. And a lot of times that girls don't realize that.

"And serving is always key to winning matches."

Clinton Match

The Tigers lost a close road match to Clinton, Thursday, 5-4.

In No. 1 singles play, Nevada's Megan Payne was shut out by Adriane Dehn, 0-8.

The Tigers new No. 2, Sydnie Baker, cruised to an 8-3 win over Lacy Lesmeister.

At No. 3. Ellie Pruitt was curtailed by Clinton's Katlyn Gladfelter, 9-7.

In the No. 4 matchup, Courtney Smith was ousted by Allison Heisteand, 9-7.

The Tigers No. 5, Jaiden Cherry, outlasted Amber Roberson, taking the match in a tiebreaker set, 8-8 and (7-5).

Emma Cheaney, Nevada's No. 4, was out due to an illness. Nevada junior varsity tennis player Maggie Long, was used as Nevada's No. 6 against Clinton.

Long hung in there, but was defeated by Madison Dills, 8-5.

Doubles play

In No. 1 doubles play, the tandem of Payne and Pruitt, dropped Dehn/Gladfelter, 8-3.

Smith and Baker topped Clinton's duo of Lesmeister/Heistand, 8-6.

And Cherry and Long were dropped by Roberson and Dills, 8-5.

Monett makeup match

The Tigers resumed their match against Monett, which was previously suspended due to lightning. Nevada won 6-3.

See Tuesday's paper for a full recap of this match.

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