Lawrence High's girls tennis players didn't walk away from the Lawrence Tennis Center Wednesday night with their racquets hoisted in the air after a triumphant victory.
In fact, the Lions fell hard to defending Class 6A champion Blue Valley Northwest, 8-1, in the season opener for both teams.
"Every year we have to play a first match and this was it," LHS coach Dick Wedel said. "This is not at all discouraging. They're one of the better teams in the area and Fabiano (Ted, BVNW coach) says this is one of his better teams he's had as far as depth goes."
The Huskies' No. 1 singles and doubles players shut out Lawrence's top players.
Maria Salcedo of the Lions fell to Carlie Rodney, 8-0. The team of Sarah Collins and Erin Morgan fell by the same score to Kristin Niehus and Liz Russell .
"Did you see that No. 1 doubles team?" Lawrence's Abby Olson exclaimed. "They were awesome."
It was Olson who was the lone winner for the Lions. She defeated BVNW's Stacey Dowgray, 8-6.
"I'm really glad that I finally had some success against them," said Olson, a junior who had lost to the Huskies twice last season. "A win from the first match is a great start."
Olson's single's success didn't carry over into doubles. She and sister, Sara, fell to BVNW's Dowgray and Sarah Schultz, 8-5.
"We're a good team," Olson said. "But we don't have the awesome players like they do. But we've got very even players. And even though we lost we can take a lot from this match."
"I'm pleased," Wedel said. "Our goal here was to get as many girls to play as we could to see where they were at, and we did that. Several girls took it (missing state last year) as a challenge. They are back playing better this first day than they did on the last day last year."
Fabiano said he could see Lawrence developing into a strong team.
"I was really impressed with their 2, 3 and 4 girls and their No. 2 doubles team," Fabiano said. "They didn't have that much separation between them.
"That's a really positive thing. It pushes them to be competitive and lets them get after it."