DALLASTOWN — Meghan Salaga needed just one word to describe what it was like to make her debut at No. 1 singles in a York-Adams League girls' tennis match on Monday.
"It was terrifying," said the Dallastown sophomore, who played doubles last year. "I hear all the claps and all the people yelling. I try to go with a teacher's advice on how to have mental confidence and to be sound in my mentality."
Both Salaga's mental and physical game plans worked as she scored a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Central York's Maddy Mummert, last year's bronze medalist at the York-Adams Class 3-A Singles Tournament.
Dallastown, the defending Division I champion, won the match, 5-0.
"I went for my first serve a lot, and tried to keep my double faults down," Salaga said. "I also tried to keep the ball in play and place it well."
Salaga put in a lot of work into her game during the offseason to make the leap from No. 1 doubles to No. 1 singles on the tennis ladder.
"I played a lot of singles matches in a league called Love Stinks," she said. "It was definitely a good way to jump into singles play and what was to come in the season."
Salaga's serve and her placement of ground strokes were the strongest parts of her game in Monday's match.
"Before I would just try to get the ball back, but now, I have the confidence to place it," she said.
Dallastown head coach Deb Gable didn't know how the No. 1 singles match would turn out, but she knew that Salaga would be prepared for the challenge.
"She just worked so hard this summer," Gable said. "Her serve is outstanding, and she's aggressive at the net."
Salaga, Morgan Kistler and Taylor Jones earned singles points for the Wildcats in the match against Central. Kistler's and Jones' matches went the maximum three sets. Victoria Gruen and Rene Williams won the No. 1 doubles match, and Grace Heird and Dani Schoeppner teamed to take the second doubles match. Heird's and Schoeppner's match also went three sets.
"(A 5-0 match) doesn't sound close, but this was a close match," Central head coach Brad Andrews said. "Three of the matches went three sets."
Gable expected the Panthers to push the Wildcats.
"We definitely felt it was going to be tight," she said. "This early in the season, I'm not sure the kids were prepared for how big a match this is. Now. we just have to keep them thinking that every match is important."
Northeastern 5, Spring Grove 0: At Spring Grove, the Bobcats received straight-set singles victories from: Courtnee Hoff, Jillian Laughman and Addonya Onwukonjo. In doubles, Madison Laughman and Aubrey Shaffer combined to win the No. 1 match, while Isha Patel and Jiselle Castano won the No. 2 match, both in straight sets.
York Suburban 5, Hanover 0: At Suburban, the Trojans received singles victories from: Liv Pindzola, Alex Clancy and Lucy Smith. In doubles, Skylar Volz and Ini Akaha combined to win the No. 1 match, while Alivia Halza and Kelly Sargen combined to win the No. 2 match.
Susquehannock 4, Red Lion 1: At Red Lion, the Warriors received straight-set singles victories from Molly Hogan and Mia Kobylski. In doubles, Kate Cramer and Emily Ditt combined to win the No. 1 match, while Abby Martin and Julia Thomas combined to win the No. 2 match. For the Lions, Kristina Snyder won the No. 1 singles match in three sets.
Susquehannock wins Division II match: At Mountainview Golf Club near Fairfield, Susquehannock won the York-Adams Division match with a score of 320.
Individually for the Warriors, Andrew Roberts shot a 76, Kendel Abrams had a 77, Spencer Beran had an 80 and Tucker Stoll had an 87.
York Suburban (350) took second, followed by Eastern York (354), Dover (371), West York (375), Kennard-Dale (378) and Gettysburg (382).
Dover's Logan Snyder (75) was the individual medalist.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.