By Brian Holtzapple
For The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE -- The Lewisburg girls tennis team has taken more than its share of lumps so far this season.
Well, on Monday, the Selinsgrove Seals added a few more to the young Green Dragons' collection.
Selinsgrove won each singles match in straight sets, as well as No. 1 doubles, to defeat Lewisburg 4-1 in a Heartland Athletic Conference Division I matchup.
Seals' coach Duke Fravel wanted his girls to finish the first half of the season strong, and to also begin the second half the same way.
With the victory Selinsgrove's record is 3-4. A win over Shikellamy at home on Wednesday would get the Seals back to .500. Although there's seven matches left in the season, at least a .500 record is needed to qualify for the District 4 team tournament.
"I wanted to end the first half of the season on a positive note and head into the second half strong, and I think we're going to do that," said Fravel. "I think we showed that we can get out there and play.
"(The win) is a going to be a confidence booster. We've been trying all season to get some confidence, and this will help us get there," added the Seals' coach.
Despite the loss for Lewisburg (1-7), the Green Dragons are young and they will learn from matches like Monday's, according to coach Matt Barr.
"It's been a tough season so far, but we're learning and the girls are still staying positive," Barr said. "We're excited to get through the second half of the season and see some of those teams who we had some of the closer matches with, and see if we can't make something happen.
"The girls knew it was going to be a tough season, but they haven't quit yet," added the Green Dragons' coach.
Senior Maggie Lemons got Selinsgrove's third and deciding win at No. 2 singles. She beat Carlie Stockdale, 7-5, 6-2.
Lemons and Stockdale traded games and went back and forth for much of the opening set before a Lemons winner tied it at 5. The Seal then picked up a break over Stockdale before holding her serve to win.
Then with the momentum on her side, Lemons made quick work of Stockdale in the second set and won easily.
"(Maggie) lit a fire under herself, and that's what I've been looking for," said Fravel. "Hopefully she can keep that up and have more successful matches in the second half of the season."
Selinsgrove also got solid wins from senior Hunter Shaffer at No. 1 singles, where she beat Rachel Lipski, 6-2, 6-3; and from Sara Moyer, who picked up a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Rachael Murphy at No. 3 singles.
Another strong win for the Seals came from Liza Smith and Brittney Auker at first doubles. They beat Libby King and Claire Chau, 6-0, 6-3.
"We have a junior at No. 3, plus two sophomores at No. 1 doubles. They're starting to come into their own, and they're maturing as tennis players," said Fravel.
The lone win for the Green Dragons came from Shannon Loftus and Debbie McGinnis at No. 2 doubles. They beat Leah Kline and Gabby Singh, 7-6, 6-2.
"Selinsgrove is a good team, they're well-coached and they stuck to their game plan, where we've kind of started off with a game plan but sort of went away from it a little bit -- and that was to Selinsgrove's advantage then," said Barr.
However, only three seniors are in Lewisburg's starting lineup -- McGinnis, Murphy, Stockdale -- and the team is loaded with underclassmen.
That only bodes well for Barr and the Green Dragons down the road.
"That's what we've been trying to instill. Hey, we're taking some lumps this year, but next year and the year after that, hopefully we'll be able to make something out of our team," said Barr. "It's been a tough schedule, but we're learning and the girls are still having fun.
"That's what we are looking for."