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Prep girls tennis: Worthington can't keep pace with Fairmont; Luverne falls at home

WORTHINGTON -- Consistency and rhythm were two areas of focus for Worthington Tuesday heading into its home matchup with Fairmont. Unfortunately for the Trojans, a strong Cardinals team prevented them from working on that too much. Worthington en...

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JESSE TRELSTAD/DAILY GLOBE Worthington’s Paige Stewart sends back a serve from Fairmont’s Lauren Carlson during Tuesday afternoon’s match in Worthington. The Trojans fell 7-0.

WORTHINGTON - Consistency and rhythm were two areas of focus for Worthington Tuesday heading into its home matchup with Fairmont.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, a strong Cardinals team prevented them from working on that too much. Worthington ended the night with a 7-0 loss after its guests got out to a quick start.
“We knew they were solid coming in,” Trojans coach Mike Marquardt said of Fairmont. “We weren’t thinking so much about attacking but getting our consistency and our rhythm down. But they started off so well we weren’t really able to do that. They started well and we couldn’t catch up.”
One Trojan who almost did come back was sophomore Kelly Newman. After falling behind 1-0 with a 6-2 loss in the first set, she gave Brittany Bass all she could handle in the second.
Newman fell behind early but battled back to force a tiebreaker when the match ended at 6-6. Bass recovered, taking the final point 7-3 to earn a 7-6 victory.
“When you get into a tiebreaker sometimes it just feels like soemthing different,” Marquardt said. “It’s not part of your regular routine so sometimes it can just kind of throw you off.”
Despite the loss, he was happy with the way Newman recovered after the setback to start the match.
“Mentally I think she knew where to go with the ball,” Marquardt said. “She was putting pressure on her and some things were coming together with her execution.”
That was the closest contest of the day for Worthington. Anna Kill fell 6-0, 6-1 to Abby Fitzgerald at first singles with Paige Stewart taking a 6-0, 6-2 loss to Lauren Carlson in the No. 2 spot. Coral Owens gave Sydney Hainy a test in the second set after falling 6-1 in the fourth singles opener. Owens kept things much tighter, but settled for a 6-4 loss.
On the doubles’ side, Erika Schutte and Shelby Larson took a 6-2, 6-1 loss to Ellie Tonder and Madi Plumhoff. Morgan Cihoski and Hayley Fogelson of Fairmont won in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1, over Whitney Donkersloot and Quinn Bents at No. 2 doubles. In the No. 3 doubles spot, Katilyn Brunk and Tatyana Clark were stuck with a 6-4, 6-1 loss for Worthington.
One positive coming from the loss, however, was that Marquardt saw clearly what his team needs to work on.

“It was the lack of consistency that bothered me,” he said. “I thought our serving was up a notch from what it has been. That was good. But we need to work on ball placement and we need to work on anticipating where they’re gonna hit it back to us; not just waiting until they hit it and reacting.”
Worthington will be back on its home court at 4:30 p.m. Thursday to take on Pipestone Area.
The Trojans’ JV team fared much better. Chloe Bents and Stephie Bauman won in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (8-6). Brittin Fauskee and Bailey Kruse won 6-4 in their doubles match. Cynthia Salksavath and Maggie Putnam claimed a 6-1 battle. Jasmine Ling was victorious, 6-1, in a singles match with Makayla Ebbers winning 6-0. Jaime Newman and Madison Johnson added a 6-0 win.
BEA 7, Luverne 0
LUVERNE - Despite a shutout loss on his home court Tuesday, Luverne coach Greg Antoine saw plenty to be happy about.
“We are getting better,” he said after the 7-0 Big South loss to Blue Earth Area. “Watching the girls hit and go through their points we are just doing things better than at the beginning of the season.”
The closest match of the night was Carissa Cunningham’s 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) loss at third singles. Joci Oye also put up a fight at the No. 2 spot with a 6-4, 7-5 loss.
“Our singles girls seem to be hitting the ball for a reason,” Antoine said. “They seem to be working more toward setting up the point to get an advantage and then finishing it.”
Tatiana Gust and Kayla Rud went three sets at No. 1 doubles, but ultimately fell 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Brianna Jonason and Kennedy Gonnerman lost a tough 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 decision at No. 3.

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