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HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS: Permian completes final nondistrict challenge in win over Andrews - Odessa American: Boys

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HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS: Permian completes final nondistrict challenge in win over Andrews

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Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 11:09 pm

In its final match before District 2-6A play begins, the Permian tennis team knew the challenge it faced against Andrews.

Although the Mustangs play two classifications lower than the Panthers, Permian head coach Meliton Morales knew that his team was going to have to be at its best to win.

Permian pulled away in singles competition to defeat Andrews 13-6 Tuesday at the Pat Wikse Tennis Facility.

“This is definitely a great tune-up match to see that we need to really hold down our nerve in matches,” Morales said. “It’s still going to be a tough season regardless of wins a losses and I think the kids are ready for it.”

The Panthers consider themselves to be stronger at doubles competition, but the Mustangs stayed with them through all seven doubles matches — ending the first portion of the day with Permian holding a one-match lead.

Permian’s top female pair of senior Kristen Woodard and junior Nelie Williams defeated Andrews’ Tatum Rondan and Kaiti Jeppesen 6-1, 6-3.

In that match, the Panthers’ duo was able to fix their game along the way and control their nerves to roll to victory.

“It gives us a challenge for sure. We all practiced day and night working for this,” Woodard added. “I feel it in all of us that we have it.”

In playing a much larger school like Permian, Andrews had to rely on depth more than it had in other matches this season — giving its underclassmen valuable minutes on the court ahead of when its district play starts. The Mustangs lost 13 players from last year’s team.

Andrews plays against Pampa and Hereford this weekend before starting District 4-4A play next week.

“We always know that (Permian) is coached really well so we always know that their kids are going to be in attack mode which means we have to be ready for that attack and really try to work on our counter punching,” Andrews head coach John Armstrong said.

Armstrong also noted that the atmosphere of playing Permian is something Andrews can’t replicate against a team of similar size.

“I do think our kids handled that well and didn’t find themselves intimated from it,” Armstrong added.

In singles, Permian used consistency and depth to take nine of the 12 matches.

Morales knows that strong singles performance gives his team a huge confidence boost before Saturday’s district opener at Wolfforth Frenship.

“We saw where we were strong and weak and we’ll be able to turn it around for district,” Morales said. “The low points today were not necessarily in the matches we lost, but how we lost them.”

Morales mentioned that his team played in two 10-point tiebreakers that could have been avoided and a few doubles pairs didn’t get the best out of their games once the pressure of each game ramped up.

“We love playing Andrews before our district season starts because they’re always a good team,” Morales said about his team’s final nondistrict match. “We always put them on our schedule. It kind of lets us know where we are and what we need to work on.”

Andrews feels the same way about playing Permian.

“Matches like these — the close competitiveness — gives us an idea of depth and where to put certain people,” said Andrews’ senior Jacob Harper, who won in both doubles and singles Tuesday.

Now that both teams are heading into the most important part of its season, they’ll take the lessons they’ve learned from playing each other. They hope to use all they’ve learned as a springboard into the playoffs.

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