I happened to read this just before I went and played, and tried really hard to pay attention to both tips, and they helped.
No, I still do not know how to put pace on a slow, low ball, but I am getting more balls over the net where the opponents could not immediately end the point.
I still could not lob the short ball over the net person (as some others suggested) safely or consistently, nor crush the ball, but found a decent enough way to get that ball back cross court without losing the point almost immediately. I was able to eliminate the net person from poaching relentlessly, and over time, I think I can learn to add more pace.
I lost only about 60% of the points compared to the usual 90% I lose against the tactic. That is encouraging.