MACHESNEY PARK, Ill.—The chemistry of a doubles team is typically an evolving process that can take years to perfect.
Hononegah sophomores Lizzie Schindler and Karlie Anderson are aiming to speed up that process considerably.
The Indians No. 1 doubles team dispatched Harlem’s top team of Taylor Goodwin and Delaney Johnson, both seniors, 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 as Hononegah swept the Huskies Thursday afternoon in the NIC-10 opener for both schools.
“I thought we communicated really well,” Anderson said. “Even though we just started playing together this fall, that’s one thing we’ve done really well from the start.
“And we’ve been playing Australian, where Lizzie serves and I play in the middle, then she runs to the left and I go to the right so I can hit my forehand, which is my strength. That was really working well for us.”
Hononegah coach Harrison Hearne said the duo’s athleticsm is a tremendous asset.
“Both of those girls are so athletic,” Hearne said. “And I think all of our girls have some fire, but those two really show it. They are really fun to watch out there. That Harlem doubles team has given us problems before. They are a pretty good team.’
The meet, held in sunny and very blustery conditions on Harlem’s campus, featured both of Hononegah’s singles players roll.
No. 1 Mika Menon cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory, while No. 2 Tess Provance won by the same score.
“It was windy, but it was windy for both sides,” Hearne said. “And it was fun to get the NIC-10 season started when you didn’t think you’d have a season in the first place. You get to learn some things you have to work at, and overall I thought we did a lot of good things. We’ve got a lot of sophomores out here, and our singles stepped up in the singles position very well. You like to see that senior leadership, and we’ve got that.”
Provance said she was pleased with the way things went.
“There were definitely some adjustments I had to make with the wind, especially with my serve,” Provance said. “This is the first year that I’ve played in both the winter and the summer, so I’ve improved a lot. It’s hard to have goals in a season where you don’t know what the postseason looks like, but I’d love to be able to advance to sectionals and win at least one match there.”
Menon said dealing with the breeze was a challenge.
“Especially when I was on the far side of the court, where the wind was a lot stronger, I wouldn’t lower my racket speed, but I did try to hit it steeper so I wouldn’t hit it out,” Menon said. “And that was working for me. And I didn’t hit my slice at all. It’s not one of my strongest shots, especially in this wind.”
Hononegah’s No. 2 doubles team of Kassidy Anderson and Bridgette Schindler won 6-0, 4-6, 6-1, while the No. 3 doubles team of Alyssa Anderson and Brynn Hansmeier won 6-2, 6-3.
The Indians will host Dixon in a non-conference match Saturday.