SHORELINE — This time, the rain only made a brief appearance and didn’t hang around long enough to spoil the show.
In a continuation of a Western Conference 4A South Division girls tennis match that was rained out a week earlier almost as soon as the players took the court, Shorewood edged crosstown Shorecrest 4-3 Wednesday at Shoreview Park.
With the win, the Thunderbirds upped their record to 9-1 and remained tied with Jackson atop the division standings. The Scots fell to 8-2, but placed an asterisk next to the loss in their personal scorebook.
About half of Shorecrest’s lineup was ineligible because they were out of town when the match officially started April 7 — the first day of spring vacation. Once the coaches exchanged lineup cards that afternoon, their singles and doubles ladders were set.
“As far as the girls are concerned, we’re 9-1,” Shorecrest coach Barry Majorowicz said. “They accept the fact that we lost to Jackson when our girls were away on spring break. They don’t accept the fact that we walked on the court (against Shorewood) the last time when it was raining already and a little while later the match was called off. That’s a little hard to take.”
Even with an alternative lineup, the Scots pushed Shorewood to the brink. The teams were tied at three matches apiece, with the outcome resting on the No. 4 singles match.
After falling behind 4-0, Shorewood’s Anastasia Shatilo claimed six straight games from Shorecrest’s Rachel Dalwa to take the first set. With Shatilo up 4-3 in the second set, a few scattered raindrops forced the players off the court.
But 10 minutes later, the clouds passed and play resumed. Shatilo held her serve at love and broke Dalwa for a 6-4, 6-3 win that clinched the crucial team victory for the Thunderbirds.
Shorewood coach Arnie Moreno felt Shatilo responded well to the early deficit and regained her composure partway through the first set.
“From there on out I felt she had control,” Moreno said. “She was dictating where shots were going to be made. It was up to her to not give points away.’
The T-birds wound up sweeping all four singles matches. Samantha Lim, Kelle Jones and Meghan Haggerty all won handily in the top three slots.
“(Shorecrest) didn’t have their full lineup but they’re still a good team,” Moreno said. “They outplayed us in the doubles. They were in a tough situation … in the singles. That’s where our strength is.”
Shorecrest’s Katherine Walsh and Michelle Alberty won convincingly at No. 1 doubles, Joyce Yoon and Annelise Owen pulled out a three-set win over Shorewood’s Kali Chamberlin and Blossom Cohon at No. 2 and Esther Shite and Laurel Scott won in straight sets at No. 3 for the Scots.
“It’s been real pleasing to see that not only there’s been some talent,” Majorowicz said, “but more importantly a real drive to be competitive and do well.”
On Tuesday, Edmonds-Woodway delivered Shorewood its first loss of the season. Ashley Wagner topped Lim in a third set tiebreaker to seal a 4-3 victory for E-W.
“That’s as close as it can get,” Moreno said. “I’m really proud of Samantha because as a freshman, she’s learning a lot and she doesn’t get rattled. She’s even keel winning or losing. She has great court sense and she adjusts to every play depending on their strengths and weaknesses.”