Girls' Tennis: NWD Tournament

By David Selig
The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — After falling behind Sarah Moomau 3-0 in the second set of Wednesday’s Northwestern District girls’ singles final, Headley Wilson looked toward coach Rob Haskiell, pointed her palms to the air and pretty well summed up the match.

“She doesn’t miss anything,” Wilson said with a wry smile.

Wilson, of James Wood, is the only player to have solved Moomau this season — winning 10-8 May 5 — but the Handley senior was just too much in their third meeting of the year. Moomau won the final eight games of the match, defeating Wilson 7-5, 6-0 at Winchester Country Club’s indoor tennis bubble to repeat as the district’s individual champion.

“She just outplayed me today,” said Wilson, a junior, who also advances to the Region II tournament as the runner-up. “She hit winner after winner. I mean, she really deserved that match, because she hit some really good shots. I hit the best shots that I could hit, and she just had an answer for all of them.”

Moomau also teamed with Katie Gordon to defeat Millbrook’s Alena Beasley and Blake Parks 6-0, 6-1 in the doubles semifinals later in the afternoon. They then beat Wilson and Tarah Wampler 6-1, 6-0 in the district doubles final.

But Moomau’s showdown with Wilson in singles was by far the most anticipated match of the day.

Wilson began it by breaking Moomau in the opening game.

Moomau broke right back and didn’t lose a service game the rest of the match.

So, did losing that second regular season meeting create a bit more urgency for Moomau on Wednesday?

“Absolutely,” she said with a smile. “I would have been very determined either way, but when you lose, there’s nothing like it. You want to play that person again the next day.

“I had to wait two weeks, and I was just like, ‘OK, I can’t wait.’ It really gave me a lot of extra motivation to do my best today.”

It also gave Moomau more motivation to improve on some shortcomings that arose in the May 5 match.

One of Wilson’s greatest strengths is her drop shot, and even though Moomau struggled with it in an 11-9 victory April 6, she admits she didn’t think much of it because it didn’t cost her a win.

“The second time, when I lost, I was like, ‘OK, I need to change something. I need to focus more,’” Moomau said. “I knew that she was killing me on the drop shots, so in practice I’ve been more aware of watching for people hitting a drop shot and making a run for it so I could be ready to play her.”

Moomau did just that to win a point at the net to hold serve and make it 5-4 in the first set.

Moomau also won the final point of that set at the net.

The only noticeable mistake Moomau made in the match came when she held a 40-15 advantage with a 6-5 lead in the first set.

On the first set point, Wilson lofted a shot toward the baseline. After the ball came down just inside the line, Moomau grabbed it on a hop, realizing immediately that it had been in and thus conceding the point.

“It was irritating, because I really thought it was going out, and then it dropped in,” Moomau said. “So, I was like, ‘Good shot.’ But I didn’t get too mad, because I thought, ‘If I get too mad, I’m just going to blow this next point.’ ... So, I just shrugged it off like it really wasn’t a big deal, and it worked.”

Moomau won the next point to clinch the set, and she was virtually flawless in closing out the match in the second — impressing her rival all the way through.

“She just really had a game plan this time, really stuck to it, and nailed exactly what she was supposed to do,” Wilson said. “All you can do is applaud somebody that’s doing that.”

Wilson and Wampler defeated Sherando’s Sara Wolfe and Emy Bossung 6-1, 6-4 in the other doubles semifinal to secure a regional bid.

— Contact David Selig at
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