Girls tennis: Friends Jenson and Schreiber secure a victory for Trojans
WORTHINGTON -- Ivy Jenson and Neveah Schreiber are neighbors. They literally live next door to each other.
Good friends, too. So, naturally, they communicate very well on the tennis court.
The two Worthington Trojans needed to communicate well on Thursday in a dual girls tennis match with visiting New Ulm. They won a tight match at No. 2 doubles against the Eagles’ Bethany Janssen and Gabby Sammons, 6-4, 7-5.
In the second set, Jenson (an eighth-grader) and Schreiber (a junior) trailed 4-1 and 5-2 before rallying to win. They did it, in part, by changing their positioning whenever possible to let Ivy -- who is the better baseline player -- stay back while Neveah -- the better net player -- moved to the front.
“We tried to strategize as much as we could, to find the other guys’ weakness,” said Schreiber after the match.
Encouraging each other is important to both of them, “in Jesus’ name,” said Schreiber.
“Sometimes we lose a little focus, but we just try to gain it back,” said Jenson.
For the second time in the Trojans’ first two regular season meets of 2018, the locals won just one match in a dual meet. New Ulm won this time, 6-1, and Waseca beat the Trojans 6-1 on Tuesday. The team is young and fairly inexperienced, however, and every battle is an opportunity to learn.
They’re also learning to keep fighting no matter what the score. Worthington’s Maggie Putnam lost her No. 1 singles match to New Ulm senior Emma Mandal by a 6-1, 6-2 margin. But Putnam kept punching away, winning two straight games in the second set after falling behind 5-0.
Kessey Aljets played a very competitive match with the Eagles’ Makiah Otto at No. 2 singles, falling 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5). At No. 3 singles, Abby Hietala beat Cynthia Souksavath -- who won Worthington’s only matchup on Tuesday -- 6-3, 6-4. And at No. 4 singles, New Ulm’s Malia Emerson beat the Trojans’ Madison Johnson 6-3, 6-4.
At No. 1 doubles, Hannah Blumhoefner and Kellyn Emerson got the best of Worthington’s Cindy Hernandez and Perla Rodriguez 6-3, 6-1. At No. 3 doubles, the Eagles’ Carli Botten and Lydia King prevailed over Worthington’s Marah Darling and Madison Shaffer in another tight one, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 10-8.
WHS won seven of nine junior varsity matches.
Worthington will be back in action Saturday, hosting a tournament with Luverne, Pipestone Area and Yellow Medicine East beginning 9 a.m. at the middle school courts.