Lakota East defeated its rival Lakota West 4-1, Sept. 7, as it battled through wind, lighting, rain and eventually the indoor courts of The Court Yard Sportsplex.
Prior to the match, 20-mph wind gusts figured to be a major issue.
Eventually, the wind gave way to lighting and light rain. After a 30-minute delay and a phone call by coach Barnes, the two rival squads led a convoy of coaches, parents and friends to The Court Yard Sportsplex off Kingsgate Way.
There, the Thunderhawks finished off the Firebirds.
Prior to the venue change, Lakota East No. 2 singles sophomore Taylor Holden and Lakota East No. 3 singles senior Katie Strahan won their matches. Holden defeated senior Ani Mnatsakanian 6-0, 6-1, and Strahan defeated senior Shannon Dunn 6-2, 6-2.
Meanwhile, Lakota East No. 1 singles senior Carolyn Pitman (photo) led Brooke Broda 6-1, 5-4 when play stopped. It didn’t take long for Pitman to wrap up her match on the indoor court, taking the second set 6-4.
The doubles matches were still taking place when the game was taken indoors.
Lakota West doubles duo sophomore Nicole Soutar and freshman Madison Capovilla were tied up with the Lakota East doubles team of senior Taylor Stephens and senior Samar Sheriff 6-1, 4-6. Once inside, Soutar and Capovilla won Lakota West’s only match, taking the third set 6-2.
The Lakota West No. 2 doubles tandem of junior Kat Rivers and senior Cady McNear trailed 0-6, 5-4 at the stoppage in play to junior Sofey Fugate and sophomore Leeah Floyd. Indoors, Fugate/Floyd won the second set 7-6 (7-2).
Going into the match, Lakota West head coach Bryan Skoog decided to go with a different lineup. He moved his No. 2 singles player, Soutar, and his No. 3 singles player, Capovilla to No. 1 doubles.
That move meant that the Lakota West strategy was to win both doubles matches and hope that its No. 1, Broda, could defeat Pitman.
“There was some strategy behind it. We knew Nicole would have trouble against Taylor (Holden). They just have a lot of depth,” Lakota West head coach Bryan Skoog said. “East is tough.”
Broda got behind early 4-0 in the first set and struggled to keep up with the powerful shots by Pitman.
“It was a huge win for her [Pitman]. Brooke beat the state runner-up [Urusline’s Komal Safdar] earlier this year – to win that match is just great for Carolyn,” Barnes said.
The win gives Lakota East sole possession of first in the Greater Miami Conference standings. The Thunderhawks improve to 10-0 overall and 5-0 in the GMC. With the loss, Lakota West falls to 8-3 overall and 5-1 in the GMC.