CHARLESTON -- Charleston's tennis team opened the 2002 season on a positive note on Thursday, sweeping an improved Chaffee squad 9-0.
Impressively, the Lady Bluejays got the job done without No. 1 player Mindi Luehmann, who was home sick.
"We told them before the match to show (Chaffee) what they've been working so hard for, and they did," said Charleston coach Mitch Baker. "The girls really came through big. They stepped up and accepted the challenge."
In varsity singles, Charleston's Claire Showmaker rallied to beat Chaffee's No. 1 player, Katie Pfefferkorn, 8-4. Showmaker trailed 4-3 at one point.
"At 4-3, Claire stepped it up and notch and started playing more consistent," said Baker.
Charleston's Megan Luehmann defeated Chaffee's Brittany Bennett, 8-1. In the No. 3 slot, Charleston's Ashley Barnhill came from behind to beat Nicole Poe, 8-6.
"She was actually down 6-5," said Baker. "I think the hard work and conditioning we put them through this year really paid off. In the end, she still had a lot of energy."
At No. 4, Charleston's Libby Renaud edged Chaffee's Shannon Hampton 8-5.
"She was back and fourth the whole match," explained Baker. "(Hampton) started off the match serving real well, but she let up a little near the end. Libby pulled out a tough match."
Charleston's Julie Smith defeated Chaffee's Casie Guzman 8-0, then Charleston's Laura Burton beat Chaffee's Shelly Rice, 8-0.
In varsity doubles, Luehmann and Showmaker defeated Pfefferkorn and Bennett 8-3. Renaud and Smith beat Poe and Hampton 8-1, then Barnhill and Smith defeated Guzman and Rice, 8-0.
"I was proud of the whole team," said Baker. "I didn't have a single player today with varsity experience, but the girls stepped it up and pulled out the win."
Charleston (1-0) will travel to Dexter on Tuesday.