Lee, Owen J. Roberts remain unbeaten in PAC-10 with 5-2 win over Spring-Ford

BUCKTOWN >> It doesn’t happen to Meredith Lee often.

But even when it does, the upbeat Owen J. Roberts junior isn’t the type to allow a loss to turn her negative.

“It was tough. Peyton (Bradley) ran me around a lot yesterday. You can guarantee she’s going to do that,” Lee said, a day after being dealt the first defeat of her season, 6-4, 6-4 to Downingtown West’s Peyton Bradley in a rematch of last year’s District 1-AAA singles semifinal.

“Since I lost yesterday, you just have to forget about that match and move on. You can’t do anything about the match yesterday. You just have to focus on what’s coming up.”

There is plenty ahead to focus on for Lee and the Owen J. Roberts girls tennis team, especially after Thursday.

Owen J. Roberts freshman Elaina Lee readies to hit a backhand. (Austin Hertzog - The Mercury)
Owen J. Roberts freshman Elaina Lee readies to hit a backhand. (Austin Hertzog – The Mercury)

The Wildcats cleared a major hurdle in their Pioneer Athletic Conference pursuits with a 5-2 victory over perennial contender Spring-Ford, 5-2, on their home courts to remain unbeaten (6-0) in league play and keep pace with fellow unbeaten Methacton. The two teams face off on a postponed contest on Oct. 5, the Monday after the PAC-10 Singles Championships.

Lee defeated Spring-Ford freshman upstart Tori Alexander, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 1 singles while younger sister, freshman Elaina Lee handled Sonal Tyagi, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 2 singles.

With the match tilting in the Wildcats’ favor and No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles still on court, both went OJR’s way, Jacey Caplan rallying to top Jessica Leach, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (1) at No. 3 for a singles sweep while, at No. 2 doubles, Vidisna Pandey and Sarah Maute downed Elise DiGuiseppe and Camryn Jones, 6-1, 5-7, 6-1.

Camryn Gelting and Delany Kent’s straight-set win at No. 1 doubles, 6-4, 7-6 (4), rounded out the OJR victories.

“We have a really great young team that likes to fight hard and work hard and you can see that in their tennis,” Lee said.

Spring-Ford (4-2 PAC-10) match winners were Vivian Boyd and Rachel Reininger, 7-5, 7-5 winners at No. 3 doubles and Maddy Morris and Samantha Pollock, 6-3, 7-5 victors at No. 4 doubles.

Meredith Lee showed why she reached the semifinals of the PIAA Singles Championships and was third in District 1 a year ago by employing her rare variety and flowing one-handed backhand to pull past Alexander, whose big serve and forehand will have her in position for success in the years to come.

“I thought I was moving her around nicely, side-to-side, front-and-back, and mixing up my shots and making sure my shots were varied,” Lee said. “She

Spring-Ford No. 1 singles player Tori Alexander. (Austin Hertzog - The Mercury)
Spring-Ford No. 1 singles player Tori Alexander. (Austin Hertzog – The Mercury)

has a really big serve. I just tried to get it back. I didn’t try to do anything special with it. That was a big plus for her.”

Lee had her service broken in the latter stages of the first set to remain up 5-3, but broke back to close out the first set and stayed on the gas into the second set.

“The end of the first set and the beginning of the second was big. Going over the hump, you have to make sure to get going in those games to make sure the momentum is still with you,” she said.

She remained the steadier player in closing out the final set 6-1 and kept her mentality along the way, something she give her freshman sister some credit for.

“We hit against each other and I think we balance each other out. I think she learns from me and I learn how to stay calm from her,” Meredith Lee said.

Momentum is with the Wildcats as the regular season hits its home stretch and the postseason nears – the PAC-10 Singles Tournament begins next Friday – for their No. 1 singles player.

“In the offseason, I was putting in a lot of work. I think I’ve gotten better,” Lee said. “My goal for this season is to make it back to states. I’m hopeful.”



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