The heat is on for the Nordonia High School girls tennis team, both in terms of the weather and also the competition. However, the Lady Knights appear to be up to the task.
Nordonia won three of five matches recently to keep their record above .500. The Lady Knights' mettle was tested more than once during that stretch of contests.
"I'm happy with the way we're continuing to progress," said Nordonia head coach Ryan Vehar. "Some of these days have been really warm, and as a team, we've been in good condition. We've been up for the challenge--not only for the opponent, but also for the elements. The heat index has been over 100, but the girls haven't been complaining about it."
Nordonia dropped the first two contests in the five-match set. First, the Lady Knights fell to Highland by the score of 4-1 on the road Aug. 22.
Nordonia sophomore Arianna Pearson won at third singles 6-2, 6-2. In addition, the Lady Knights' second doubles team of seniors Alyssa Sansavera and Becca Cermak dropped a tough 6-7, 6-7 decision.
On Aug. 24, Nordonia welcomed Suburban League National Conference rival Hudson to town. The Lady Explorers blanked the Lady Knights by a 5-0 margin.
Sansavera and Cermak won the first set of their match by the score of 7-5. However, they were not able to win one of the final two sets.
On. Aug. 25, Nordonia shut out non-conference opponent Normandy at home 5-0. Junior Jackie Wendel won at first singles 6-1, 6-1. Sophomore Helena Marcic was a 6-3, 6-1 victor at second singles, while Pearson posted a 6-2, 6-1 triumph at third singles.
The Lady Knights' first doubles unit of seniors Rachel Kopniske and Kourtney DelGiudice prevailed by the score of 6-1, 6-2. Sansavera and Cermak capped the match with a 6-0, 6-0 trouncing of their opponent at second doubles.
On Aug. 29, Nordonia hit the road, traveling to conference foe Stow. The Lady Knights tamed the Lady Bulldogs by the score of 4-1.
Wendel claimed a 6-2, 6-1 victory at first singles, while Marcic won 6-4, 6-3 at second singles. It took three sets, but Pearson produced a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 triumph at third singles. The first doubles tandem of Kopniske and DelGiudice also won, registering a 7-5, 6-3 victory.
On Aug. 30, Nordonia hosted another non-conference opponent in Chardon. This time, the Lady Knights posted a 4-1 triumph.
Wendel won 6-3, 6-3 at first singles. Marcic prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 in a super tiebreaker at second singles. Both of Nordonia's doubles teams were victorious, as well, the first doubles tandem of Kopniske and DelGiudice and the second doubles unit of Sansavera and Cermak.
Nordonia owns an overall record of 6-3. The Lady Knights are also 1-1 within the National Conference.
According to Vehar, the Lady Knights have exhibited resiliency and mental toughness during the early part of the season.
"We've played quite a few three-set matches, and some of them have been in our favor and some of them have not," said Vehar. "I haven't seen any of our girls get frustrated or tired out or mentally give up. They've hung in there, and it's paying off."
Nordonia's junior varsity team has also been playing well. In fact, the JV squad has only lost one match so far (a heartbreaker to Hudson) and is 8-1 overall.
On Sept. 6, Nordonia was set to host Suburban League American Conference member Tallmadge, but results weren't available at press time.
On Sept. 7, the Lady Knights travel to conference counterpart Cuyahoga Falls at 4 p.m.