Spring Grove senior tennis players Michaela Taylor and Amanda Craver entered the 2013 season undefeated as doubles partners, going a perfect 9-0 last year.
Thursday, in the Rockets' season opener against Kennard-Dale, the duo was at it again as they extended their winning streak to 10 matches by defeating Kathleen Glackin and Lilly Riale, 8-0 -- helping lead Spring Grove to a 6-1 team victory.
"(Amanda) is really good at the net and I am better at the baseline," Taylor said. "I think both of our skills combine to make us a good team."
The on-court chemistry that the two have can be traced to the fact that they have been friends since intermediate school, a theme that is common among the top five players on the Rockets' roster.
"Our friendship helps us a lot on the court," Craver said. "We know the others game, how they play and we just mesh really well together."
With a goal in mind of finishing their senior season with back-to-back perfect records, Craver and Taylor spent this summer working on their game, mixing up shots and trying to continue their development.
Spring Grove (1-0) swept doubles play, as Emma Hoffnagle and Hayley Staub defeated Sofia Alsamadi and Alyssa Miller, 8-5.
The Rockets dominated singles play, winning four of the five matches. The most intriguing action was at No. 1 singles, where Hayley Staub defeated Alyssa Miller in three sets.
After winning the first set, 6-4, Staub dropped the second set, before rallying to win the decisive set, 6-4.
"It was a challenge, but it was well fought," Staub said. "I think we both played very even and the same style. I felt like in the second set (Miller) amped it up but I stayed the same. I knew during the third set that I had to step it up."
Staub, who was the Rockets' No. 1 last season as well, focused her off-season on her serves. On Thursday, she saw the hard work pay off.
"My serves were much improved today both in terms of speed as well as consistency," Staub said. "I spent the summer with a basket of balls and just serving consistently. It was something I had struggled with last year and it was an advantage most of my opponents had on me and I knew if I wanted to accomplish my goals this year, I had to improve in that area."
With the first win of the season under their belt, Spring Grove coach Holly Metzger believes this can carry them through the season.
"I think it's a good momentum builder," she said. "It shows us what we are capable of doing and gives us confidence going into the other matches. It keeps us focused on the prize. This is what we are here practicing hard for and the effort showed here tonight."
Spring Grove also picked up wins in singles matches from Hoffnagle, Taylor, and Craver.
Kennard-Dale's (1-1) lone win came from Riale, who defeated Kiah Morrison, 6-2, 6-3.
at Spring Grove
SPRING GROVE 6, KENNARD-DALE 1
Haley Staub, SG, def. Alyssa Miller, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4; Emma Hoffnagle, SG, def. Sofia Alsamadi, 6-3, 6-0; Michaela Taylor, SG, def. Kathleen Glackin, 6-2, 6-0; Amanda Craver, SG, def. Alli Steward, 6-0, 6-1; Lilly Riale, KD, def. Kiah Morrison, 6-2, 6-3.
Staub-Hoffnagle, SG, def. Miller-Alsamadi, 8-5; Taylor-Craver, SG, def. Glackin-Riale, 8-0.