By John Bombatch
FAIRBORN — The host Fairborn Skyhawks girls high school tennis team dealt with a slight bit of adversity on Thursday, and Vandalia Butler dealt them a shutout loss on the Community Park tennis courts.
Top singles player Brooklyn Hunter had to attend a school function and was unavailable to play against the Aviators. That forced Fairborn coach Doug Coy to shuffle the singles lineup a bit, and Butler took advantage.
The seemingly stronger Aviators didn’t need an advantage, but Hunter’s absence just made their day a little easier. Butler swept all five matches in straight sets to record a 5-0 win in Greater Western Ohio Conference action.
Butler’s Madison Peyton used solid baseline shots and a bruising serve to defeat a yeoman’s effort from Acadia Wulf 6-1, 6-0. Wulf had to step up to first singles in Hunter’s place, and played admirably.
At second singles, Aves sophomore Xia Lin handled Fairborn’s Kyla Secrest 6-0, 6-1.
Ashley Hass then defeated the Skyhawks’ Paige Murry in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.
In the most competitive match of the evening, Fairborn’s Preslee Chapman and Shayna Osborne played well, but couldn’t fend off the 1-2 punch of Butler’s Jenna Albezreh and Rachel Burton, who escaped with a 6-2, 6-3 win.
And in second doubles, the Aviator duo of Hannah Scarpelli and Cierra Christner came away with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Fairborn’s Dakota Thacker and Jayna Varner.
“(Butler) is very good. We played a lot better tonight. Last night (in a 3-2 loss to Greenon), we didn’t play so well. We were disappointed in how we played then,” Coy said. “We’re disappointed that we lost today, of course. But we played a lot better. … We’re looking forward to a good season. We’ve got everybody back and we’ve got nine seniors. We just ran into a better team tonight.”
Coy liked what he saw from the Chapman-Osborne duo at first doubles.
“They played really well tonight. Last night against Greenon, I think they might have played down to their competition and they wound up disappointed in that outcome,” Coy said. “Tonight, they were disappointed in the outcome, but they played 10 times better tonight. I was happy with the play of both our doubles teams, especially compared to Wednesday night.”
Vandalia coach Amanda Paul said her team has developed more consistency in their play, and noted that her players are starting to show a bit more confidence on the court.
“Yes, they’re hitting more aggressively. They like to go after the ball and they’re very aggressive, that’s true,” she said. “Madison Peyton had a solid match for us. She’s my senior. She plays a very solid game and we know that we can pretty much depend on her a lot.
“This was a good team win for us.”
Both teams return to action on Monday. Fairborn (0-2) travels to play Springfield then, while Butler (1-2) will host Bellbrook. With the Vandalia courts in a state of repair, the Butler-Bellbrook match will be played Monday at the Schroeder Tennis Center, which is located at 1459 Harmony Drive, in Tipp City.