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Girls tennis: Souksavath earns impressive win, but Trojans fall to Waseca

WHS head girls tennis coach Mike Marquardt advises Cynthia Souksavath in her match Tuesday against Waseca's Alexis Allen. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)1 / 2
Worthington Trojan Madison Johnson returns a volley in No. 4 singles Tuesday. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)2 / 2

WORTHINGTON -- Cynthia Souksavath wasn’t having a particularly good day with her calf muscles.

But that didn’t stop her from beating Waseca’s Alexis Allen 7-6, 7-5 in her No. 3 tennis singles match Tuesday at the middle school courts -- the only Worthington victory in a 6-1 season-opening loss to the Bluejays.

“This is my first time playing varsity singles. I thought I did pretty well,” Souksavath said after her match. “Right after the first set I felt that my right calf was cramped. Then 15 to 20 minutes in the second set I felt it in my left.”

To recover, the junior simply tried to walk it off between games. It worked.

“She had to step it up mentally, with the injuries, and play through it,” said her coach, Mike Marquardt. “She played smart points. I think that’s why she won.”

Last year, Souksavath experienced other injury problems. She sprained both ankles, in fact.

“And this year it’s my calves, apparently,” she shrugged. “But I just have to drink more water, stay hydrated.”

One of the seven matches on Tuesday went three sets, as Waseca’s CeCe Huttemier defeated Worthington’s Kessey Aljets 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 at No. 2 singles. The other matches went the minimum two sets.

At No. 1 singles, the Bluejays’ Taylor Pfeifer topped Maggie Putnam 6-0, 6-1. And at No. 4 singles, Morgan Bruhn won 6-3, 6-4 over the Trojans’ Madison Johnson.

Waseca’s Tanika Johnson and Jacklynn Jevning beat Worthington’s Jasmine Riley and Marah Darling 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles. The Jays’ Tessa Volkner and Hannah Berndt won 6-1, 6-1 over Worthington’s Cindy Hernandez and Perla Rodriguez at No. 2 doubles. And at No. 3, Hanna Potter and Grace Lapides prevailed 6-1, 6-2 against the Trojans’ Ivy Jenson and Neveah Schreiber.

“I know what we need to work on. That really helps it out,” said Marquardt. “It’s good to get the first one out of the way.”

Marquardt said that the Trojans were too inconsistent on their serves against Waseca, relying too much on their second serves. And although they were willing to come to the net, their volleys needed to be crisper.

Souksavath’s match paired two players who liked to stay on the baseline, however, and the Trojan got the best of it.

“It was eye-opening,” Souksavath said, “but I’ve never played varsity singles before. And I didn’t know if I could keep my rallies going. It’s really making me feel like this season I can grow.”

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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