As the Long Beach Wilson girls tennis team prepared to defend its Moore League title this week, there was one thing standing in the team’s way — getting clearance for each athlete to play.
The Bruins finally got clearance to play on Tuesday, just before the team was set to take on Poly to open Moore League play.
After navigating all the hurdles standing in their way, the Wilson took their first steps to defending their Moore League title defeating Poly, 13-5.
With defending Moore League singles champion Maddie Tadd gone, the Bruins turned to fresh faces to lead them to their decisive victory over the Jackrabbits.
In the first match of her high school career, freshman Vanessa Holden made an immediate impact for the Bruins sweeping each of her matches.
“At first I was super nervous,” Holden said. “But being with all my friends on the team it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. There was a lot of pressure, but I had a lot of encouragement, and I was working hard. You get a big sense of family with all the tennis players.”
Holden wasn’t the only underclassmen to have an impressive debut to start Moore League play as sophomore Vivian Hall also won all three of her matches and had a thrilling match to finish the first round of play as she went the distance with Poly’s Julia Sutedjo defeating her 7-5 to give the Bruins a 4-2 lead.
“This is kind of like my first real season,” Hall said. “It’s been really fun and less COVID problems. It’s been really fun and I’m so happy I get to be on this team with everyone.”
For Poly, the Jackrabbits are still figuring out what will be the best for the team after losing lots of experienced players last season.
“We lost five really good players,” Poly coach Doug Schlueter said. “We knew coming into this match that we were going to have trouble. Not knowing who they had, they actually got a really good freshman and we weren’t expecting them to have three solid singles.”
Wilson will host Cabrillo on Thursday in its next league match while Poly heads to Lakewood next Tuesday.