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Girls tennis: Trojans move to 3-2 in conference

WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Trojans’ 5-2 girls tennis victory over Pipestone Area Friday may have been a turning point in more ways than one.

The win moved WHS to 3-2 in Southwest Conference action. And, coming at the conclusion of a busy week of tennis when the Trojans engaged in competitive matches virtually every day, head coach Mike Marquardt said the outcome may have moved the dial on the players’ emotional meters.

“There were a lot of close matches and we were able to step up in all of them,” said Marquardt. “The experiences we had during the week were more mental than physical, and that’s what put us over the hump in the matches.”

Worthington split the four singles matches with the Arrows and swept the doubles contests.

Emily Williamson defeated Pipestone Area’s Abby Steffan in convincing fashion, 6-1, 6-1. Worthington also won the second singles match with Laura Wetering defeating Nicole Scotting 7-6, 6-1.

Pipestone Area won at third and fourth singles. At No. 3, Tayla Sysavath was a 6-2, 6-1 victor over the Trojans’ Paige Stewart, and at No. 4 Lauren Lapthorn beat Worthington’s Shelby Larson 6-3, 7-6 (7-5 tiebreaker).

Sarah Janssen and Makensie Carstensen topped the Arrows’ Veronica Johnson and Maya Bledsoe 7-5, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles. Brianna Kempema and Annie Lesnar beat Sarah Woelber and Tory Van Essen 6-3, 7-6 (7-1 tiebreaker). And at No. 3 doubles, Worthington’s Alicia Khatt and Miranda LeBrun defeated Kirsten Houg and Serena Wipf 7-5, 7-6 (7-2 tiebreaker).

Friday’s match with Steffan put Williamson in a particularly good mood. In a Sept. 12 match against Marshall’s Jenna Gannott, Williamson lost a three-setter that she remembered as “a heartbreaker.” But on Friday, the junior with the wicked first serve handled every part of her game well.

“I was in a slump for a while. I had a real tough match (against Gannott),” Williamson said moments after the victory over Steffan. “I just played my game. I really think I broke a barrier. This match was a real good serving game for me. And my control in this match was maybe the best ever.”

Marquardt agreed.

“She did turn a corner,” he said. “She’s got a set first serve. But now she knows what to do in the middle and at the finish.”

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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