Positive signs

The bad news for the Alpena girls tennis team on Wednesday was that it lost 5-3 to Harbor Springs.

The good news for the Wildcats was there were many more positive things they could take from their second meet in three days at the APlex.

One positive was that Alpena’s No. 3 and No. 4 doubles teams, which feature four freshmen, earned their second wins of the week. The No. 3 doubles team of Angela Salacata and Kayla Bullock won 8-4 and the No. 4 doubles team of Kaitlyn Schultz and Priya Pokorzynski won 8-6.

Another positive was that in two other matches, Alpena fought to tiebreakers and came away with a split. No. 4 singles Alivia Bowers won her tiebreak 7-2 for an 8-7 win and Alpena’s No. 1 doubles team of Macy Cosbitt and Lindsay Moggie lost their tiebreak 7-4 for an 8-7 loss.

All of it was encouraging to Alpena coach Charlie Giordano, who’s been impressed by his team’s progression this early in the year. Alpena had previously beaten Grayling 6-2 on Monday.

“Their improvement was outstanding. I sent them a text a while ago, telling them how proud I was of the way they played,” Giordano said. “They’re adapting to the play better and adapting to the ball better. If we continue to improve at this rate, we could be in for a remarkable season.”

Each set was played in a format where the first player or team to eight points won, with a point being awarded per game.

Taking losses for Alpena were No. 1 singles Katie Cook (4-8), No. 2 singles Carlee Giordano (0-8), No. 3 singles Sydney Heise (0-8) and the No. 2 doubles team of Maren Hines and Jordan Sengenberger (3-8).

Alpena won’t return to the courts again until next week in the Up North Challenge in Traverse City, but until then the Wildcats have some work to do.

For one thing, the Wildcats haven’t been outside yet to play or practice and Giordano said he anticipates his team being outside the rest of the season.

“We’ve got a week to get used to the elements outside. Dealing with the elements is an issue, but we’re going to be working on the same things (as usual),” Giordano said.

The Up North Challenge will take place next Thursday and the Wildcats will get a first-hand look at their Big North Conference competitors as Traverse City West, Traverse City Central, Cadillac and Petoskey are are slated to participate.

“Everyone gets together and you get to see what you’re conference looks like, who you’re gunning for and who’s gunning for you,” Giordano said.

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.