North’s aim for win falls a few feet short of the net

POULSBO — As a desperately needed gap in the clouds broke over the tennis courts, a loud enthusiastic, “North!” could be heard as the North Kitsap Girls Tennis squad prepared for what turned out to be the closest game of the season thus far. North coach Terry Grimm was pleasantly surprised by the vigorous output the girls exhibited in their matches against South Kitsap.

POULSBO — As a desperately needed gap in the clouds broke over the tennis courts, a loud enthusiastic, “North!” could be heard as the North Kitsap Girls Tennis squad prepared for what turned out to be the closest game of the season thus far.

North coach Terry Grimm was pleasantly surprised by the vigorous output the girls exhibited in their matches against South Kitsap.

“I’m very proud,” said Grimm, “They’re playing girls with more pace on the ball and their keeping up with that.”

Despite the 3-2 loss, there were few disappointed faces on the North bleachers. After confronting an initially challenging schedule in the beginning of the season, the racquets of North Kitsap have been clacking in celebration ever since.

“We started out against tough teams,” said Grimm, “but we’re starting to get right back on track”

Meagan Oost, coupled with senior Brandy Meek, incorporated aggressive tactics into her game plan, charging the net to tap a ball under the opponent’s reaching racquets for a point.

“I think my partner and I played well,” said Oost, “although there’s definitely room for improvement.”

Boasting the best win/loss record on the team, Theresa Tucci claimed a victory after a long winded match against South Kitsap’s Casie Armstrong. Recovering from an unstable first set, Tucci used her wide hitting repertoire to her advantage; dropping balls left and right. Finishing strong, she eloquently served an ace to win her match, 2–1.

Teamwork was Jocelyn Gutierrez and Krista Vestman’s saving grace as Vestman sent Gutierrez ducking with a high velocity shot over the net. Their doubles team emerged on top, 2-0.

“We let them pick their doubles partner,” said Grimm, “so every doubles player gets along with who they play with. It makes a huge difference.”

Regardless of the return of only one varsity team member, the tennis squad remains close.

“We’re great at bonding and we all feel kind of united,” Oost said. “All the girls are great to play with.”

With a 3-6 season record, the girls of NKHS marched off the courts defeated but not discouraged.

“Whether they win it or lose it, they’re improving,” said an encouraged Grimm, “and that’s a good thing.”

The girls will make their way back onto the courts at the Viking Invitational at 9 a.m. today in Poulsbo.