GIRLS TENNIS: Lady Dragons swept by McDowell in home opener

In just their second outing of the season, the Warren girls tennis team squared off against another District 10 powerhouse in reigning class AAA team champions McDowell Wednesday at Betts Park.

The Lady Trojans handed Warren its second sweep this week, following a 5-0 loss to defending class AA champion Mercyhurst Prep on Monday.

“We have just played the top two teams in District 10,” said Lady Dragons coach Jeff Bartsch. “Monday we played Mercyhurst, Wednesday McDowell. All the teams we play for the next week or so will be on a more competitive level.”

Cassie Johnson put up a fight in the number-one singles match, but fell 6-0, 6-0 to three-time D-10 singles champion Adrianna Jeffress. Maggi Hansen dropped a decision against McDowell’s Lauren Fadden, and Corie Eckman lost 2-6, 3-6, to Larissa Chen to round out singles play.

“Corie can play with anybody and today she showed a bit more of what she can do on the court,” said Bartsch.

The Lady Dragons’ doubles team of Shoshanna Ochocki and Alexis Vavala let a close match slip away to the pair of Daugherty and Heinlein from McDowell. With a lead of 4-3 in the first set, Ochocki and Vavala fell behind and dropped the opener 4-6. The win gave the Trojans a boost of confidence, and the visitors took the second set by a score of 6-2 to steal the match.

“If we are to win matches, we have to close down the opponents when we have a lead,” added Bartsch.

Warren’s second doubles pair of Kim Parroccini and Karly Taylor played an exciting match, extending the McDowell pair to three sets.

“The first set was nip and tuck as it could have gone either way,” said Bartsch. “We missed some key volleys and a few overheads to allow the Trojans to win the opener 7-5.”

The second set was all Dragons as Parroccini and Taylor hit the ball cleanly, covered the net, and finished with good overheads to take the set 6-2.

Knotted at one set all, McDowell bounced back from the loss and handed the Lady Dragons’ duo a painful 2-6 decision.

In exhibition play, Maria Miller teamed up with Megan Waterfield and Rachel Cecco teamed with Sarah Casey for a pair of Warren victories, while Phoebe Nelson earned win in her singles match.

The Lady Dragons will return to action for their third match of the week on Friday when they travel to Erie’s Frontier Park to take on Central Tech.