VEEDERSBURG — Don’t let Fountain Central’s girls’ tennis team low numbers fool you.
The Mustangs are off to a 3-1 start after defeating Wabash River Conference foe Attica 5-0 on Monday despite having just enough players (7) to field a full team.
“This is new for us. 20 years here and this is the first team we’ve had, maybe only one boys team with nine, so this is the only other team with less than 10,” longtime coach Dave Kight said. “So you worry about that ‘well I’m No. 6 or No. 7, but I’m not coming out of the lineup,’ and it hasn’t been like that. The good news is all of the kids here have grown up with coach Webb and I at tennis camp and coaching them from sixth-grade and seventh-grade and I think they know we wouldn’t accept that, but it hasn’t even been a discussion topic.”
Most noticeably Kight has seen the offseason work from a trio of juniors starting to pay off even after a lost 2020 season.
“We’ve had some players that have managed to improve even with the year off,” he said. “We have three juniors, Fishero, Jiminez, and Gonzalez, who I know went to Danville and spent some time playing and getting some lessons and it’s really kind of paid off for them.”
Lillie Fishero defeated Attica’s Rheann Seward 6-0 6-0 at No. 1 singles on Monday, while the duo of Paige Scheurich and Emily Jimenez beat Ella Peterson and Jordan Riegle 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles. Haley Webb (No. 2 singles), Angela Gonzalez (No. 3 singles), and Tyler Bowling and Marylee Muniz (No. 2 doubles) all won by default.
Kight is pleased with how his team is gelling in the early part of the season, and feels like they’re all making each other better.
“A lot of times you have huge talent differences,” he said. “So much you have one group of kids that need to be in ‘this drill’ and another that can’t be and we really don’t have that. Our 7th kid is not afraid to get out there and hit with our No. 1, and not only is that going to make our 7th kid better, it’s nice for your team.
“Sometimes you get a team that doesn’t gel, and these girls get along really well and I think that makes a big difference.”
Fountain Central plays at North Montgomery on Wednesday, at Greencastle on Thursday, and at the Western Boone Invitational on Saturday.
“Coach Webb and I maybe underestimated a little bit where we were going to be and by no means are where we want to be and where we will be, but we had enough kids that worked that with the teams around here, we should be fairly competitive. Our schedule is about to get a lot tougher,” Kight said.