Thursday afternoon’s girls tennis matchup between visiting Northridge and Fairfield featured two defending sectional champions — the Raiders winners of their own Northridge Sectional a year ago, and the Falcons champions of the Goshen Sectional.
Fairfield got the better of the nonconference matchup between ths two schools this season, winning 4-1 on a pleasant spring afternoon at Fairfield.
With a young team this season — just three returning players with varsity experience — Fairfield coach Mike Filburn has been looking to solidify the rest of his lineup early in the 2012 season.
The Falcons took some steps toward doing that in their win over the Raiders, Filburn said.
“I’m pleased that we won the meet, of course,” Filburn said. “But I’m more pleased with how we won it.” Filburn said. “We were qwuick on our feet, and we were aggressive.”
No. 1 singles player Haley Bechtel and No. 1 doubles tandem Kaelin Bender and Nicole Murdock are the three returning experienced Falcons.
One of the newcomers who has been coming along nicely is freshman No. 2 singles player Lauren Streit, who earned a straight-sets 6-1, 6-1 win over Northridge’s Courtney Clark on Thursday afternoon.
After dropping the first game of the first set, Streit said she settled down — something she has been working on early in her high school tennis career.
“You can’t get down on yourself early in a match,” Streit said.
As a freshman on the varsity, Streit said she feels some pressure to step up and perform. But she feels she;’s handling that pressure just fine so far.
Streit is off to a 2-1 record, while the Falcons improved to a perfect 3-0 on the young season.
Fairfield returns to action on Saturday at the Plymouth Invitational. Northridge travels to Homestead tonight.
Fairfield 4, Northridge 1
No. 1 — Sarah Smith (N) def. Haley Bechtel 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
No. 2 — Lauren Streit (FF) def. Courtney Clark 6-1, 6-2.
No. 3 — McKenzie Hochstedler (FF) def. Sam Harkrider 6-3, 6-0.
No. 1 — Kaelin Bender-Niole Murdock (FF) def. Olivia Erekson-Ashley Owens 6-2, 6-1.
No. 2 — Mary Shipley-Leah Wimmer (FF) def. Amy Stoffel-Kate Ahonen 6-4, 0-6, 6-4.
Record: Fairfield (3-0) travels to the Plymouth Invitational on Saturday.
JV: Tied 1-1.