Although the final team score was lopsided when section leaders Manheim Township (One) and Lampeter-Strasburg (Two) met in a nonleague girls tennis showdown, both teams gained valuable experience.
Both entered unbeaten Wednesday, but the Blue Steaks dropped only three games in the three singles matches, leading the way for the 5-0 win on a breezy afternoon in Lampeter.
Manheim Township coach John Briner knows his team learned from facing the Pioneers.
"The wind made it tough. We haven't seen any wind like that this year," he said. "But we are all playing on the same court. It was a good match. We expected it to be a good match.
"There were some good points and some deuces in there and a lot of them ended up going Township's way. Those can always go the other way and the scores are even closer."
The battle at No. 2 doubles exemplified the coach's words.
Township's Sophia Yost and Jade Miller ran out a 6-2 edge in the opening set against Pioneers Kati Platt and Cate Caldwell. However, the second set was a tedious one, as the Platt-Caldwell duo took a 4-3 lead.
Yost and Miller captured the next two games, only to see the set evened at five each. The Streaks took the next game, but Platt and Caldwell not only evened the match, but earned the first two points in the seven-point tie-breaker.
However, Yost and Miller won the next seven points to take the match, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2).
"It's good for camaraderie and the girls were able get together and cheer for the team," Briner said. "I am glad we were able to pull the win off, it's good for those players psychologically. That is going to be an important court for us. It was a long match. I think we found some things to work on."
Although she captured a 6-0, 6-2 victory at No. 2 singles, Blue Streaks senior Scotty Reynolds needed patience to stop the lob game of Pioneers lefty Ryan Gerhardt.
"I think it's the first lefty I've played this season. She was really good. She's a really strong player," Reynolds said. "It's definitely a unique game to play against. The adjustment was more due to the wind and playing anybody with a lob in their game is going to be more difficult with the wind.
"I did my best to just let it settle, come up and take advantage of lobs when they were short and put it away at the net."
Avery Palandjian was dominating at No. 1 singles for Township, winning 6-0, 6-0. Sophomore Kayla Kurtz won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3 and Streaks teammates Julia Briner and Cami Henneman went 6-1, 6-0 in first doubles.
Lampeter-Strasburg coach Mark Trach liked the experience his team gained while trying to chase down a Section Two crown and spot in the L-L team tourney.
"It's been a great experience because we've had some easy wins so far and we knew Township was loaded coming in," he said. "We were humbled today. We knew they had a lot of firepower."