Sandy picks up wins at the bottom of the doubles ladder

by: THE POST: PARKER LEE - Sandys Lindsay Shields makes a backhand return during last weeks 7-2 loss to Sherwood. Sandy finished second in the NWOC.There was a rumor circulating through the girls’ tennis world that Sherwood was good, really good. Sandy got a firsthand look at how painfully true that rumor was.

The Pioneers suffered a 7-2 setback to Sherwood in Tuesday’s conference finale. The Bowmen swept all five doubles matches and won the first and second singles contests to sail to a care-free team win. Sandy avoided being shut out as it earned wins from Lindsey Shields and Taylor Courtain in the third and fourth singles matches.

Shields was more eager than normal to get on the court to take on Sherwood’s Savanna Davis. Just a few weeks earlier, Shields fell to Davis in a third-set tiebreaker to conclude a match that lasted more than three hours. Shields certainly wanted to help her team, but payback was at the front of her mind.

“She beat me by two points when we played before and I was really angry about that,” Shields said. “It gave me extra motivation this time. It helped knowing what she does and how she plays.”

The two players traded games for the first seven points of the first set and Davis held a 4-3 advantage. Shields then changed her game and turned the direction of the match in her favor. She still went for forehand winners when they were there, but she mostly turned into a defensive player. Shields made a concerted effort to keep the ball in play. As she did that, two things happened – her technique got sounder and Davis started making mistakes.

“I started moving my feet, which I wasn’t really doing before,” Shields said. “I was able to see where she wanted to hit it, and I had an easier time hitting where I wanted to hit it.”

Shields used a few errors by Davis to earn the break and then held serve to pull ahead, 5-4. Davis won the next game to tie the set at 5-5, but Shields responded by winning the next two games to close out the set, 7-5.

The mistakes compounded for Davis in the second set and Shields made them hurt. Shields was more vigilant in keeping the ball in play and made almost no mistakes, allowing her to coast to a 6-1 win to take the match.

Sandy freshman Taylor Courtain won in two sets as well by outpacing Sherwood’s Taylor Matt-Lewis, 6-4, 6-3, in the fourth singles matchup. Courtain gained an early edge in each set and proved to be too steady and athletic for Matt-Lewis to make a comeback.

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