It took nearly 2 hours for Richmond’s Rei Tsuyuki to put away her first set Wednesday on Tiernan Center’s tennis courts.
Tsuyuki needed about half that time to put the finishing touches on her 7-6 (8-6), 6-0 win at No. 2 singles.
Tsuyuki accounted for the Red Devils’ lone victory in their season-opening 4-1 girls tennis loss to Delta, but it was a match that was beneficial for both teams.
“They are a really good team,” RHS coach Randy Hollingsworth said of Delta. “It gives us kind of an idea of where we’re at, and I thought for the most part we played pretty well.
“I thought overall for our first match, we did OK.”
It was the opening match for Delta as well.
The Eagles swept doubles play and won at No. 3 singles to clinch the team victory, as the No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches were contested as the sun went down and the Tiernan Center lights lit up.
“For both teams today, they got a tremendous match that is going to make both teams better,” said Delta coach Tim Cleland.
Tsuyuki defeated Delta’s Maggie Thompson at No. 2 singles to claim Richmond’s first victory, while the No. 1 match between Richmond’s Peyton Young and Delta’s Madison Ashman went into a third set.
Tsuyuki is an exchange student who was making her Red Devil tennis debut.
“She battles hard. She just doesn’t make a lot of mistakes,” Hollingsworth said of Tsuyuki. “She’s going to give us a lot of good matches this year.”
Young, an all-state performer and regional qualifier as a junior, was edged 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 by Ashman in the night’s longest match.
Cleland said Delta was thrilled with how close both No. 1 and No. 2 singles were played.
“The points were tough and the competition was really strong,” he said. “I was really happy.
“I go away very, very happy from our opening match. Richmond has a very good team this year and I know why Randy is excited for the season.”
Richmond originally was scheduled to open at home Monday with Jay County, but that match was postponed until April 25 because of weather.
The Red Devils travel today to Eastern Hancock, then play on Saturday in the Mt. Vernon Invitational. Richmond’s next home match is Tuesday against Winchester, then the Red Devils play host to the Richmond Invitational on April 26.
“We started out with a tough team, and we look to build on this as far as the rest of the season,” Hollingsworth said. “I don’t know if we’ll play many teams that are better than this.
“It’s a loss, but there are positives, too.”