The South Tama Girls Tennis Team recorded a big win May 2 over rival Grinnell by a score of 6-5. The win gave STC its fourth victory over Grinnell in the past five seasons. The annual dual meet is traditionally a slugfest, and this year's match-up lived up to that reputation.
The #1 Singles Match pitted South Tama's Emily Martin and Grinnell's Lily Hamilton. Both players flirted with making the state meet in singles last season. Hamilton took an early lead in the match by securing the first set 6-2. Her consistent game was steady enough to maintain momentum in the second as she built a 5-2 lead. Martin's game seemed to find new life as literally the wind changed abruptly- gusting to over 20mph. Martin adjusted quickly and roared back to tie things at 5-5. In the end, Hamilton was too good as she nabbed a 6-2, 7-5 win for the Tigers.
At #2 Singles, Madison Baack faced Jackie Johnson for the second consecutive year. Baack started strong and grabbed the first set 6-4 in a physically grueling set of play. Johnson fought back valiantly to nab the second set 6-2. In the super-tiebreaker, Johnson wore down Baack to win 10-2 and take the match by a score of 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (2). STC's Tori Appelgate looked superb at #3 Singles for the Trojans as she took on Maddie Krumm. Appelgate's serve was devastating and set up an abundance of winners from the net for the South Tama Senior. She got STC on the board with a convincing 6-1, 6-2 win.
The Trojans also played at home on Monday May 5 against Dike New Hartford (for story see page 9). Caitlin Svacina outplayed DNH’s Abby Klug 10-3.
News Herald Photo/Allison Graham
Senior Caitlin Svacina faced Amaris Bates at #4 Singles. Both players worked the ground game throughout the match to physically push each other around the court. Bates proved just good enough to get the win for Grinnell 6-3, 6-4. South Tama's Taylor Muhlstein stepped up at #5 Singles to secure an important win for the Trojans. She downed Kylie Kelling by a score of 6-2, 6-3. In the last singles match of the contest, Sydney Meek faced Emma Hartz. Meek got out early only to see Hartz battle back to force a first set tie-breaker. Meek steeled herself in order to win it 7-3. Hartz seized momentum in the second set to win 6-3. In the super-tiebreaker, Meek showed her determination to win as she raced to an early lead and never surrendered as she won 10-3. Meek's 7-6(3),3-6,1-0(3) win evened the match at 3-3 heading into doubles play.
STC has had success in doubles action throughout the 2014 Season, and they would need every win available to secure the dual meet victory over their rivals. Making their varsity debut at #5 doubles for STC were Natalie Stadler/Megan Mann against Grubb/Moore of Grinnell. The sophomore duo from South Tama took the first set to get comfortable as a team in a 4-6 loss. In the second set, they fine-tuned their game enough to force a tiebreaker. A 7-5 win forced the match to a super-tiebreaker. Falling behind 1-8, Stadler/Mann refused to loose and battled back to 6-8. That was as close as they would get as Grubb/Moore finished the match and grabbed a 6-4, 6-7(5),1-0(6) win.
STC Seniors Mollie Morgan/Ali Vavra took to the court against Ellis/Mitchell at #4 Doubles. The experienced duo from STC stayed close, but fell 3-6, 4-6 to their opponents. At #3 Doubles, Muhlstein/Meek teamed to face Krumm/Wiltfang. In a highly competitive match, the two from STC seemed to play identical sets. Keeping pace with their opponents throughout each set, they successfully broke serve late in both sets to post a 6-4, 6-4 win and improve to 5-3 on the season.
Appelgate/Svacina faced Bates/Kelling at #2 Doubles. The STC Seniors posted their third consecutive win with a fairly routine 6-3, 6-3 win for the Trojans. At #1 Doubles, the undefeated team of Martin/Baack from South Tama proved too much as they trounced Johnson/Moyer
en route to a 6-0, 6-2 victory. That win pushed the final team score to 6-5 in favor of the visiting Trojans.
South Tama also took the win in junior varsity action by posting a 6-4 score. The Trojans got wins from the following doubles teams to secure the victory: Natalie Wesely/Rachael McAdoo, Elizabeth De La Torre/Delilah Fonseca (twice), Jessica McFate/Brianna Mason, and Emily Jantzen/Mackenzie McFate (twice).