Cathy Layson joked that she didn't have any champagne to celebrate her first-ever win as a varsity tennis coach.
"But I actually do have some in the fridge at home," she said with a laugh.
That might come in handy, because Layson may be celebrating a lot of wins this season from her talented squad at Spring Lake.
The Lakers and visiting Grand Haven were finally treated to a dry — yet brisk — day for their non-conference dual match and the Lakers made an early statement on their home courts, taking down the Bucs, 6-2.
"I'm really excited from what I saw today," said Layson, who has assisted both the Lakers' boys and girls teams in recent seasons. "The thing I was most impressed with is when they were getting down, when there were some bumps in the road, they fought through it.
“There was just that one case at No. 3 doubles, where there was one score discrepancy and that got in their heads and they couldn't get out it. But overall, the girls' mental game is really coming along and that's encouraging to see."
Maybe the best example of that was at No. 1 doubles, as the team of senior Madison Khem and junior Faith Lee fought back from a shaky start to knock off the Bucs' Maggie Ginocchio and Olivia Reed, 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2.
"(Their comeback) was really cool to see," Layson said. "Faith basically had no confidence at the beginning of the match and she even admitted that 'I'm nervous.' So Madison and I talked her through it and by the start of the second set, she was playing with a lot more confidence."
"We were down early and we just couldn't get it together," added Khem, who shined at the same flight last season with now-departed senior Hayley Schram. "We were making a lot of mistakes, but once we realized what we were doing wrong, we turned it around and started playing off their mistakes."
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