The South Tama County girls tennis team finished just shy of the top spot at the 2013 North Iowa Cedar League Meet on Monday. The Trojans settled for second place in the team standings for the second consecutive year, while crowning two singles champions.
Dike-New Hartford edged South Tama in the team standings 61-57. AGWSR finished third with 46 points. Emily Martin won her second consecutive conference singles title, while Tori Appelgate grabbed her first singles conference crown.
After winning at No. 2 singles in 2012, Martin matched that feat by winning at No. 1 singles this season. She had an opening round bye as she was the No. 1 seed in her flight. In the semifinals, Hannah Johnson of AGWSR gave Martin a scare before Martin survived a tiebreaker to win 9-8(5). In the finals, Martin proved too much for Sydnie Gutosky of Grundy Center as she raced to an 8-2 win and the conference title.
Madison Baack made her way to the No. 2 singles final by easily dispatching Katie Branch of South Hardin 8-2 and the No. 2 seed Lexi Schmitz of Dike New Hartford 8-2. In the finals No. 1 seed Jayne Wiarda of AGWSR bested Baack by an 8-4 score. This is Baack's second consecutive runner-up finish at the NICL Meet.
Tori Appelgate proved her success this season was no fluke. She nabbed the No. 3 singles championship crown by winning two of her three matches with upsets over higher-seeded players. Appelgate dispatched Cassie Young from AGWSR in the opening round 8-3. In the next round, she upset the No. 2 seed Mikayla Fisher from South Hardin 9-7. In the final, Appelgate cruised to an 8-0 win over the No. 1 seed Emily Dwyer from Dike New Hartford.
Junior Regina Balderas dispatched Sydney Hogle from Grundy Center 8-0 in the opening round of play at No. 4 singles. In the next round, No. 1 seeded Haley Schneiderman of Aplington Parkersburg defeated Balderas 8-2. Balderas fell to the No. 2 seed Rachel Koop from Dike New Hartford in the consolation round 8-3 to finish fourth.
Final Team Standings:
Dike New Hartford-61
Cailtin Svacina represented STC at No. 5 singles. She quickly defeated Gabby Haman of Grundy Center in the first round 8-0. The second round saw Svacina facing No. 1 seed Alivia Zubrod of Dike New Hartford. Zubrod was too tough as she won 8-0. In the consolation round, Svacina fell 8-1 to the No. 2 seed Morgan Kappel of AGWSR to finish fourth.
Taylor Muhlstein surprised everyone by reaching the finals of the No. 6 singles action. Trailing 5-2 in her opening round match against Olivia Ballhagen of Aplington Parkersburg, Muhlstein charged back to win 9-7. In the next round, Muhlstein defeated the No. 2 seed Tessa Dall from Dike New Hartford by a comfortable 8-5 score. In the finals, the No. 1 seed from AGWSR, Jessica Teske, proved too much as she won 8-0. Muhlstein finished in second place.
Leading the competition after the singles action, the Trojans turned to doubles play to make their case for a conference team crown. The No. 1 doubles team of Martin and Baack advanced to the finals after an opening round bye and an easy 8-1 semifinal win over Gutosky and Hogle from Grundy Center. In the finals, Martin and Baack fell to Dike New Hartford's Lexi Schmitz and Morgan Samec 8-2 to finish in second place.
At No. 2 doubles, Appelgate and Balderas defeated Katelyn Coy and Heather Lamfers of Grundy Center in the first round 8-3. In the second round, the No. 2 seeded team of Katie Branch and Mikayla Fisher from South Hardin bounced Appelgate and Balderas by a 8-3 score. In the consolation round, the duo from STC got back to winning as they defeated Emily Dalluge and Kristin Lowe from Union 8-3 to place third.
Senior Leah Mann and Taylor Muhlstein took on the field at No. 3 doubles for STC. In the opening round, Mann and Muhlstein fell to the No. 2 seeded team of McKenzie Everts and Haley Schneiderman from Aplington-Parkersburg 8-3. In the consolation round, Mann and Muhlstein easily defeated April Mixdorf and Abbey Taylor of Grundy Center 8-0. Finally, they downed the No. 4 seeded team from South Hardin, Sarah Teske and Kailey Richard by a score of 9-7. Mann and Muhlstein finished in fifth place.
Dike New Hartford swept the three doubles flights to seal the team title just ahead of the Trojans.