The Decorah girls tennis team's first meet of the season turned out to be a good one as the Vikes stroked their way to a 8-1 victory on their home courts on Monday evening. Led by experienced letterwinners, the rest of the team played very well for their first time against an opponent.
"Osage is always athletic and very competitive so being able to come away with a convincing victory is a great way to begin the season," said head coach Larry Berland.
Decorah 8, Osage 1
#1 Mara Freiden won 6-0, 6-0
#2 Alli Groux won 6-1, 6-2
#3 Josie Kleckner lost 3-6, 6-4, 5-10
#4 Soleil Smith won 6-1, 6-3
#5 Morgan Brauer won 6-1 ,6-0
#6 Payton Schutte won 6-0, 6-0
#1 Mara Freiden & Alli Groux won 6-0, 6-0
#2 Mya Herrmann & Cady Peterson won 7-6, 5-10, 10-3
#3 Sophia Maguina & Morgan Brauer won 6-0, 6-0
Mara Freiden had an extremely entertaining match with many points
involving numerous hits and returns. Mara was able to do a better job
with keeping the ball in play which allowed her to post a victory at
number one singles. with the graduation of two very good players that
defended the number one two spots in the lineup last season, Mara and
Alli have stepped right in to prove that they are ready to do the job this
Alli Groux battled a bit of inconsistency in her match that allowed her opponent
to hang around long enough to make Alli dig in and come up with good
directional hits to win the games. Alli has a bunch of tools that she can
use to build a victory. It is not always easy to always use the correct tool
that the job requires. As her match went on, Alli became more and more
adept at using the correct tool.
Josie Kleckner had the misfortune of demonstrating what happens when you have
too many unforced errors in a tennis match. Her opponent proved to be
more consistent and directional with her shots. Josie showed great
improvement as the match continued as she won the second set before
dropping the match with a tie-breaker third set loss.
Soleil Smith tied up with an opponent that was every bit as consistent as she was
in the beginning, but to Soleil's credit, she upped the ante and forced her
opponent in to making mistakes that fueled a Soleil victory. Soleil is
always very steady and deliberate in her matches that provides a real
hardship for her opponent to overcome.
Morgan Brauer's game has really headed for high ground in the early part of this
season. Instead of sandbagging, Morgan move to a higher level of play
proved to be bad news for her opponent. Using the entire court, Morgan
moves her opponents around endlessly until they finally commit an error.
Payton Schutte proved that putting in the extra effort this winter and spring is
paying off for her. Payton is able to come up with piercing shots that are
very difficult to handle by her opponent. Payton does a nice job of
anticipating their returns and inflicting the fatal ending to the point.
Number one doubles was closer than the score would indicate but in the
end communication between Freiden and Groux proved to undo the osage
player's goal of upsetting the Decorah duo. They will continue to
become more aggressive with their game plan as the season rolls on.
Mya Herrmann and Cady Peterson had a very exciting match that had to be
shortened due to cold temperatures by playing a 10 point tie breaker for
the second and match deciding third set. Coming from behind to claim
victory in the first set was huge. Their opponents were very quick and
came up with a return many times when i thought the point was going to be
over. It forced our girls to dig out many balls and have to hit extra shots
to earn victory. It was just what the doctor ordered in an early season
match. Having to come up with the big shot while under pressure cannot
be imitated in a practice situation.
Sophia Maguina and Morgan Brauer played very well together and
secured a solid victory in three doubles. The best thing about the match
was that early on it was evident that they would win. Instead of resting on
their laurels, they tried new things and used the match to improve.
Especially happy with the communication between a battle hardened
senior and an up and coming sophomore.
Upcoming meets are a home meet on Tuesday with Oelwein and Saturday at a very competitive top gun tourney hosted by last year's state team champ, Waterloo Columbus.