MacFarland completely rearranged his lineup, most noticeably moving the defending Sandusky Bay Conference doubles team of Amanda Cahill and Lexi Weber to No. 1 and No. 2 singles.
His plan worked.
Though Cahill lost to nationally-ranked Perkins freshman Olivia Rohrbacher, the Fliers (6-0, 2-0) beat the Pirates 4-1, to remain undefeated on the season.
“We had a really good Saturday at the Wilson Invite and having all five (flights) sweep the championship,” MacFarland said. “That’s a first time for us, and it looks like we are carrying on from that today,” MacFarland said.
Rohrbacher, ranked No. 52 on the national list of freshman, gave up just 13 points in the combined two sets to top Cahill 6-0, 6-0.
“You have to respect everyone because you never know if someone is going to get every ball back,” Rohrbacher said of facing Cahill. “There are always people that will surprise you.”
She hasn’t been surprised yet though. Rohrbacher remains undefeated at No. 1 singles and said she hasn’t even really been challenged.
“It’s like an IEP (Individual Education Plan), you have to have separate practice arrangements for Olivia in order to challenge her,” Perkins coach John Schlessman said. “Obviously Olivia is so special.
“In a match like this, I take zero credit for Olivia. She’s been coached since she was four years old and she’s a high, high, high-level player. I think as we go through this season her techniques and her abilities will be positive for the rest of our players.”
Rohrbacher recently competed in the USTA national championships for girls 14 and under. She fell in the first match, but won six straight after that. She spent five weeks of the summer competing in national tournaments around the country.
“I feel like I mostly put the pressure on myself,” she said. “I’d like to have other people put pressure on me because it makes me push myself. I am working on a few things right now, but not really worried about anything. Just simple generic ground strokes. Always tweaking things and making things better.”
Weber took No. 2 singles with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Perkins’ Carlee Vaughn.
“Obviously we like doubles a little bit better, but if it’s helping out the team we do what we can at singles,” Weber said of playing in her second singles match of the season. “There’s a lot more movement, (I’m) definitely a lot more tired. You can’t rely on anyone but yourself, and you really have to read the other player well to get a good feel for how to hit it. Its just more mental.”
Weber said Vaughn emulated a lot of the same styles of play.
“She has very good consistent strokes and she is really aggressive at the net,” she said. “I knew I needed to be steady and consistent. I think we both are very consistent. We don’t try to drill the ball every time, and we don’t make a lot of mistakes. When you have two players that do that, it’s obviously going to make for a longer game.”
MacFarland said he plans on using Cahill and Weber at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots more frequently this year.
“I believe they could be close to the second and third best players in the league, and to always put them at just one position doesn’t really help our team out that much,” he said. “They played a lot of doubles last year and only like six singles matches. The strokes maybe weren’t as crisp as we needed at the end of the season. This year we’re going to try to go more with singles matches throughout the season to try to keep their strokes and keep them hitting as much as possible.
“I feel very confident with them,” MacFarland added. “They know what it takes to compete and do well in athletics. It’s difficult when they play their own challenge matches, because neither of them likes to lose. It can get a little tenuous when they are playing against each other, which is why it is fun. But against other teams it’s nice to have them in singles.”
At third singles, Andrea Nearhood beat Perkins’ Tai Knoll 6-1, 6-0.
Brooke Smith and Clara Sewell were bumped up to first doubles and beat Perkins’ Jenna Goretzki and Sarah Sullivan 7-6(4), 6-4.
At No. 2 doubles, Emi Bowers and Desiree Boonen made their debut as doubles teammates and beat Sabrina Nguyen and Pricella Nguyen 6-1, 6-1.
“For Brooke and Clara to be bumped up from second doubles to first and playing right with these girls, I am real happy,” MacFarland said. “I was real happy with Andrea Nearhood. She is playing real well. And my second doubles team hadn’t played together until tonight and they did real well.”
For Schlessman, there weren’t a lot of positives after the match.
“We simply need to get better,” he said. “Tremendous amount of game slippage from what we see in practice to what we see in a match. That will get better as experience is gained. I’m a little disappointed this evening. We expected our girls would come in and compete, but Clyde has a lot of depth and a lot of options they can do to their lineup.”