At this time last season, a game of tennis seemed more like an afterthought than anything else for Palmer three-sport athlete Shoniya Jarrett.
Then, new coach Mikael Peterson took over the program and two top-level freshmen joined the team's singles ranks to give the Terrors one of their most competitive teams in years.
"This season has been so much more enjoyable than last year," said Jarrett, a senior. "Our new coach is more focused on us than we have had in the past, and I'm just doing what I can to help our two (singles) freshmen get the most out of their talent."
On a cold and windy Friday evening at Wasson High School, Jarrett set the tone with a 6-2, 6-3 win in No. 2 singles before Palmer's No. 1 and No. 3 freshmen players followed suit and grabbed wins of their own over Coronado.
The Cougars (2-0), however, got the last laugh over the Terrors (3-2) when they swept doubles play to win the dual 4-3.
"Yeah, I'm surprised we are 2-0," Coronado coach Paul Bernier said. "With all the youth we have, I never would have expected such a good start. . We'll take these two wins though."
Especially this one. With the dual tied 3-3 nearly 3? hours in, Coronado's No. 4 doubles team of Annie Kate Chromy and Paige Coca played the role of heroes with their 6-7 (1), 6-2, 10-8 walk-off win.
The senior duo capped the win with an ace to oust Palmer's Breanna Morales and Annaliese Bronner 10-8 in the tiebreaker set.
"All of our girls have played well so far," Bernier said. "It's fun to see everyone doing their part so we can have these kind of days."
Before the comeback, Palmer freshman Grace Meluso rallied to beat Chanelle Bole in No. 1 singles 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 and classmate Lucy Timmins added a win over Shauni Bernier 6-2, 7-5 to give the Terrors a 3-2 lead with only the Nos. 3 and 4 doubles remaining.
"Coach told me to play to win, not play to try and not lose," said Meluso, who admitted surprise at being named the team's No. 1 player out of the gate. "I think I definitely picked it up after that."
Meluso, Jarrett and Timmins are all 4-1 on the season.