The Permian Panthers tennis team shook off a rough showing against Lubbock-Cooper in the first round of the Basin Brawl on Friday morning by squeezing past San Angelo Lake View in the afternoon at Pat Wikse Courts.
In the first matchup, the Panthers were dealt a sweeping loss to Lubbock-Cooper, 13-0, in a sweeping loss, yet managed to recover in the afternoon against Lake View to record an 11-8 triumph.
Permian head coach Edgar Lazcano knows what his team has to work on as they look to get better with a young squad.
“The first round, we were facing a tough team,” Lazcano said. “It showed me where my team is and where my team can grow. The second matchup, it was a different team but our team showed that they have a bunch of fight left in them especially after that morning and it really gives us a base of where we are as a team.
“The first matchup, we know that we have a lot of things to work on. We know where we are in certain matchups.”
In the second matchup, Permian’s top girls doubles team, Jaycee Pruitt and Bonnie Forester, earned a 6-3, 6-7 (1), 10-5 victory Lake View’s Alyasia Capunchina and Madison Goetz in a match that required a tiebreaker.
It was the first day of the season that Pruitt and Forester have competed alongside each other.
“It was just nerves,” Pruitt said. “It was very nervous out there. Everything is new.
“This is our first preseason match and everything is new. We have new partners and everything so we’re trying to get our groove with them. It was a learning experience today.”
Forester echoed her partner’s thoughts.
“I think at first we showed up well but then we had a bit of a lull in our intensity,” Forester said. “But then we were able to get our intensity back up and everything turned out well.”
But the two players feel like they’re starting to catch on with each other on the court.
“It’s different,” Pruitt said. “I like Bonnie. We’re good friends but we’re trying to get used to everyone’s different styles but it’s interesting. We’ll get the hang of it.”
Both players acknowledged starting off well before suffering a lull during the second set.
“I was pretty excited at first,” Forester said. “We had a lot of energy. But then we started getting a little bit frustrated in ourselves since we were missing a few shots but when we finished it off, we were both very happy with the way we were able to close it off.”
“We started out pretty strong and then we got a little too relaxed and got caught up,” Pruitt said. “We had to get ourselves together again. We did well. We were able to pull ourselves together and we did well in the end.”
Communication is one area that both players feel like they’re getting better at.
“We definitely had more communication,” Pruitt said. “We know how to communicate better. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses better. In our singles matchups, we have more of a rhythm going.”
Lazcano was proud of their efforts.
“Jaycee and Bonnie started out really strong,” Lazcano said. “They hit a little bit of a lull in the second set because the other team was strategizing and doing some things that they weren’t used to.
“But they picked it up and they used a very strong showing in the tiebreaker. They took care of business there.”
Pruitt and Forester lost in their first matchup against Lubbock-Cooper, 6-1, 6-0.
“It was a lot hotter in the second matchup,” Forester said. “But I think we played better because we knew where we were as a doubles team after playing our first match of the day.”
The Panthers will be back in action on Saturday and both players are eager to improve.
“I think on Saturday, we’ll do pretty well,” Forester said. “We’ll be very good. We’ve gotten better and we know what we need to work on and what we have to focus on.”
One of Lazcano’s biggest takeaways from his team’s performance Friday was its play at the net.
“We’re getting aggressive at the net,” Lazcano said. “We can’t let ourselves ease up at the net because we lost a bunch of matchups that way today but I have a young group that’s very dedicated and they’re going to get better.”