The Fairfield High School girls’ tennis team hosted Fort Madison and although they beat the Bloodhounds 8-1 on April 16, it took a sweep of the doubles matches for the Trojans to hold on for a 6-3 victory Tuesday evening at the middle school courts.
“Sometimes we get in our head against Fort Madison,” explained head coach Heidi Grunwald. “It is easier to breathe [with such a deep roster] because we were tied 3-3 after singles and I knew we would get at least two of the doubles and win the match, but you can’t bank on that because they have won 9-7 before.”
No. 1 Yana Gaskell defeated Larissa Ferrill 8-0
“My serve was working really well,” said the sophomore.
No. 2 Anatta Charoenkul defeated Lanie Kuntz 8-1
“I had a really strong defensive game,” explained the two-time defending state champion of her singles match. “I tried to go offensive and that was my challenge because the balls kept going out, but otherwise it was solid.”
No. 3 Nellie Higdon lost 9-7 to Zoe Ramatowski
No. 4 Abby Schaefer lost 8-2 to Kirklynn Nafziger
“I picked up a lot of balls well,” said Schaefer. “She was moving me all along the court which caused me to get tired and I needed to do more of that to her so that I could have won those points. She was very consistent with very few errors.
No. 5 Tess Paton lost 8-6 to Lily Cadwallader
“I think I need to keep the game in my head and stay positive, which is something that I need to work on,” said Paton. “I just need to remember that it’s just good to be playing whether I win or not.”
No. 6 Destiny Gridley defeated Alyse Schmidt 8-5
“It was nice to see improvement playing her to a tie-breaker last time and then winning more easily this time out.”
No. 1 Gaskell/Higdon swept Ferrill/Kuntz 8-0
“Our teamwork was good and we just started playing in the No. 1 spot, so it was a good win,” said Gaskell. “Yana and Nellie seem to know who is going were and that’s a good thing,” added Coach Grunwald.
No. 2 Charoenkul/Schaefer won 8-1 over Ramatowski/Nafziger
“We were just trying to make sure our shots went in,” said the senior, “and [at the beginning] we were still warming up and as the game went on, we started to get use to the pace.”
Schaefer added, “I love playing with Anatta, she’s so sweet. No matter what mistake I might make or she makes, we’re always happy and I really like that. Plus, there is a lot to learn from her, which I’m benefiting from because she is so talented and skilled and just playing with her helps me.”
No. 3 Paton/Gridley came back to win 9-8 (7-2) over Cadwallader/Schmidt
“We just stayed positive,” said Paton, “even though we were down six games. We needed a lot, but knew we couldn’t give up and just had to try our best.” Gridley added, “We figured we had nothing to lose and just tried to play our game. Once we started talking and bringing each other up with positive vibes, we started to play better as a team and I think that is something we are good at.”
Invitational this Saturday at Dankward Memorial Park in Burlington beginning at 9 a.m.