Columbus East coach Matt Malinsky and Brown County coach Thom Miller did a little tinkering with their girls tennis lineups when they met on Friday.
Both teams had only one match under their belts this season, and the lineups for their second looked a little different. The moves paid off in one point for the Eagles, but the Olympians took the other four to claim a 4-1 win.
“We’re just trying to figure out what our strongest lineup is and what our combination is to give ourselves the best chance to win from one match to the next,” East coach Matt Malinsky said. “We’re just kind of experimenting a little bit at the beginning of the season here.”
Malinsky switched his No. 1 and No. 2 singles players, and Megna Chari and Adycin Rager both claimed straight-set victories. Chari beat Vanessa Hoskins 6-1, 6-2, while Rager topped Maria Villalon 6-4, 6-1.
Chari, who had played No. 1 singles last season, but No. 2 singles in Monday’s season-opening win against Edinburgh, was pleased with her match on Friday.
“I feel good,” Chari said. “I thought I did pretty good on my consistency. I think we’re playing pretty good as a team right now.”
Malinsky also moved Alaysha Pollert from No. 3 singles to No. 1 doubles and Kathryn Hodzen from No. 1 doubles to No. 3 singles. Hodzen, a freshman playing in her first varsity singles match, beat Jacey Ferguson 6-2, 6-1.
Pollert and Kendall Gerkin fell to the Eagles’ Hallee Miller and Elisabeth Huls 7-5, 6-1.
“I think Kathryn adjusted very nicely,” Malinsky said. “She had a very nice, high first-serve percentage, and she adjusted her game pretty well to singles. Alaysha did the same thing. She executed her game plan really well. They just came up a little short in the first set, and then it got away from them in the second set, but they were playing some really nice points and just a few of the close ones went the other way.”
Miller and Huls, who played No. 1 and No. 2 singles in the Eagles’ season-opening loss to Floyd Central, were playing their first doubles match together.
Hoskins, a transfer from Edinburgh, was playing in her first match for the Eagles after getting in the required number of practices. Villalon is an exchange student.
“Right now, we’re still trying to get a look at different positions,” Brown County coach Thom Miller said. I’m trying some different things with doubles and singles just to try to work some things out here early in the season to come up with what I think is going to be my best lineup later on in the season.”
At No. 2 doubles, East’s Carolyn Travis and Emie Kiser beat Sarah Barrick and Baelyn Koester 6-2, 6-1.
“I got a good look at where we are,” Thom Miller said. “I don’t think we played well. Right now, I’m just making notes of the types of things that we need to work on, who I would like where and who is working well with whom. Of course, I always want to win, but I’m more concerned about how we’re competing and the things that we need to work on physically and mentally.”
The Olympians now turn their attention to crosstown rival Columbus North. The Bull Dogs beat East twice last season, including once in the sectional.
The teams will meet at 4:30 p.m. Monday at North.
“It’s still early in the season, so it takes some time to develop some of the things we’re working on,” Malinsky said. “But we’re playing really nicely, and we definitely have a chance if we can play as cleanly and execute as well as we did today. It’s always a tough match, but hopefully we can execute really well.”