URBANA -- The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley tennis team traveled to the University of Illinois courts to play St. Thomas More on Tuesday and lost 8-1.
"This score does not reflect the level of play," GCMS head coach Cindy Petersen said. "Our first meeting with the Sabers, we took 21 games with no tie breakers. Last night, we were able to get 72 games from the Sabers and went into four tie breakers in nine matches. (It was a) pretty impressive improvement from our first match with them. I was so proud of all the girls and how hard they worked in their matches."
Payton Beach was GCMS's lone winner for the night. She defeated Audrey Horn 6-4/6-4.
"Payton had control of the entire match with excellent volley placement and strong serves," Petersen said. "She hustled to every ball and made it difficult for her opponent to return her shots."
In the No. 1 singles match, Summer Roesch was defeated by Ashley Mills.
Roesch took the first set 6-4, then lost the second set 6-0. In a tiebreaking set, Roesch lost 10-7.
"Summer plays the toughest players in the area, but she always plays with intensity and never stops fighting," Petersen said.
In the No. 2 singles match, Lanie Celeschi lost to Maggie Vavrik 6-4, 6-6 (8-3).
"Lanie continues to impress me with her solid play," Petersen said. "She has a difficult spot to play, too, but she always plays up to her competition."
Celeschi went into a tiebreaker with her No. 2 doubles partner, Lexi Darbutt, against Nora Kelley/Audrey Horn with scores of 4-6/6-2/10-3.
"The girls' double play continues to get stronger with each match as we get closer to the end of the season," Petersen said.
In the No. 6 singles match, Katie Steidinger "played her best match to date," Petersen said, against Kambyl Stipes, losing 6-3/6-6(7-3)/10-6.
"Katie's serves were spot on and very well placed throughout her matches and she did a great job of moving her opponent," Petersen said. "I was very happy with Katie's mental game. As a freshman, that can be a big hurdle, but she never wavered in her play."
In exhibition play, Madison Brewer won 8-8 (10-4).
"Madison showed true grit as she was down 4-0 and came back from the deficit to take her match," Petersen said.
Emily Hood and Syda Schlickman won 8-5.
"These girls were in control of their matches the entire evening," Petersen said.
Juli Sancken and London Hixson won 8-5.
"With London's strong serves and Juli's net play, the Falcons were able to secure the win," Petersen said. "Overall, it was a great night for our program. It showed the girls that with hard work and determination they can compete with some of the toughest tennis teams in the area. A coach can't ask for any more."
At Atkins Tennis Center
STM 8, GCMS 1
Mills (S) def. Roesch 4-6, 6-0, 10-7; Vavrik (S) def. Celeschi 6-2, 7-6; Hege (S) def. Christensen 6-2, 6-1; Beach (G) def. Horn 6-4, 6-4; Kelley (S) def. Cushman 6-0, 6-1; Stipes (S) def. Steidinger 6-3, 7-6, 10-6
Swisher/Schacht (S) def. Roesch/Beach 6-1, 6-1; Horn/Kelley (S) def. Celeschi/Darbutt 4-6, 6-2, 10-3; Vavrik/Hege (S) def. Christensen/Steidinger 6-0, 6-2.