TENNIS: Luverne sweeps WorthingtonLUVERNE — Krista Van Dyk wasn’t trying to do anything fancy.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — Krista Van Dyk wasn’t trying to do anything fancy.
All she wanted to do was keep the ball in play.
Playing at No. 2 singles for the Luverne girls’ tennis team, Van Dyk won a 6-0, 6-2 match as the Cardinals swept Worthington 7-0 Tuesday afternoon.
“I played OK,” Van Dyk said following her match. “I kept it clean and tried to make sure I kept the ball in play.
“My spin serves were really good. I put them in the corner nice and they were hard for her to return.”
Playing against Trojan Sabrina Klein, Van Dyk appeared frustrated at times.
However, the experienced senior fought through tough points for a two-set victory.
“You kind of have to breathe a little bit and just forget about the point before where you screwed up and just play your game,” Van Dyk said. “It’s a little tough, but you just have to put it behind you because you don’t want it to screw up your whole match because you can still come out and win.”
As the Cardinals continue their season, Van Dyk knows she can handle anything thrown her way on the court.
“It helps because you know you can fight through it,” she said. “So for other matches, if it were to happen again, you know that you just take deep breaths and you’ll get through it just fine.”
After Van Dyke, Kaitlin Wohnoutka won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles, while Emily Robinson won 6-2, 6-0 at No. 4 singles.
“The younger girls, at 3 and 4 singles I have a couple of freshmen, they are trying to come to the net and finish off points,” Luverne head coach Greg Antoine said. “They don’t always come at the right times, but they’re trying and they’ll figure it out.”
At No. 2 doubles, Cathryn Hartz and Erin Doherty defeated Jen Froderman and Elizabeth Luke 6-2, 6-0.
“I did a lot better than I did (Monday) and Jen is a pretty consistent player,” Luke said. “Otherwise, I need to work on my top spin because they go up and out a lot.”
Luke and Annie Zaske lost 6-0, 6-0 to Pipestone Area the day before.
“I think (Monday) I was just kind of down because it was Monday and I was drained on energy, but I got more sleep (Monday) night, so that could have been it,” Luke said.
With the first four matches all going to Luverne, the Cardinals clinched their first conference win of the season.
“It’s always fun to win in the conference with some pretty good competition,” Antoine said. “Conference is always pretty even, no matter who is really good or who is really bad. When you play, it’s always anybody’s game.”
The No. 1 singles, No. 1 doubles and No. 3 doubles provided a battle for the teams.
However, Luverne was able to come out with two-set victories each time.
The Cardinals’ Hannah Baartman edged Sameera Nalla 7-5, 6-4 in a tough fight for No. 1 singles.
At No. 1 doubles, Hilary Deragisch and Autumn Wenzel defeated Zaske and Amy Schutte, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2.
Erica Marshall and Erin Fick defeated Emily Williamson and Brianna Kempema 7-5, 6-2 at No. 3 doubles, sending Luverne to a 7-0 victory.
“I thought we could have done a little better,” Worthington head coach Mike Marquardt said. “We started off a little slow, we got in some nice rallies here and there, but Luverne is a really strong team. We kind of sat back and let them make the moves and if you’re going to do all defense, you’re not going to score a lot of points. We have to be a little more aggressive; we have to work on sharper volleys.”
For the Trojans, the lob shot proved to be effective.
“We really took advantage of the lob,” Marquardt said. “It’s a great defensive weapon, but we actually used it a little bit on offense to get in better position. I was really impressed by that. Instead of all the cross-court returns where they’re coming across and finishing it, we’re making them hit one more shot. They didn’t capitalize too much on that.”
As the Cardinals prepare for a tough Brandon Valley team Thursday and the conference match later in the season, Antoine looks for his team to continue to improve.
“What we need to do is be more consistent,” he said. “You see somebody do a US Open shot one time and the next time they’ll run in and hit it over the fence. You just need to be consistent. With our schedule, we don’t have any practice time, and you need practice time to be consistent.”
In exhibition play, Haley Boltjes and Mikell Hebig defeated Amanda Bristow and Ashley Jansma 6-1, 6-0.
Worthington will travel to Marshall Thursday.