MIDDLETOWN – It has been 1474 days since the Middletown Middies’ (1-13) girls tennis team last relished victory over a Greater Miami Conference opponent.
To put that in perspective, President Barack Obama was running for a second term in office. Psy’s “Gangnam Style” had become a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon, and there was no bigger story in the literary world than the remarkable rise of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey.
That date was September 6, 2012, and the Middies had claimed a 3-2 decision over Princeton.
None of the Middies on the current roster were around the last time the Girls Tennis team tasted victory.
Last Wednesday, the 2016 edition of Middie Tennis saw first-hand the dividends of hard work come to full maturity as they ousted Colerain 3-2.
The match’s final outcome rested squarely on the shoulders of the Middies second-doubles duo of freshman Arianna Layne and junior Kate Miller.
“Getting this victory felt amazing,” exclaimed Kate Miller. “This was a total team effort. Our confidence began to grow as we began seeing the match as a winnable one. We were defiantly anxious (during the final doubles match), but Ari (Layne) and I have great chemistry on the court, and we wanted to complete this win for the entire team.”
Miller’s partner Ari Layne was just as excited about the Wednesday’s victory. “This was such an important and amazing win for our team,” Layne said. “Kate and I had a few errors early in the match, but we didn’t let those deter our focus. Shots began going our way and our confidence began to grow. As that happened, we felt unstoppable. Kate and I feed off of each other in pairs competition. We communicate well and cheer for each other. Those things won the set for us, and ultimately put our team over the top.”
For first-year head coach Seth Fair this match was a landmark win in moving his team forward.
“Getting our first team win was amazing,” said Fair. “I really tried to step back and let the girls soak it up. They have worked so hard this fall. This is a great win for our team, and a tangible result which is a product of their efforts. Justification that we are improving.”
The Lady Middies continue to take each set and match one at a time. Their persistence for reaching success is visible in their growth this season, and the hope is that last week’s win propels them this week too.
This week they will travel to Northwest High School on Tuesday, and host Finneytown for Senior Night on Wednesday in non-conference action. Both matches are slated for 4 p.m.
The Lady Middies conclude the week in the GMC Championships at Mason High School on Thursday and Saturday. Both dates are 8 a.m. starts.
Good luck and Go Middies!