PREP TENNIS: Mavericks down Trojans

WORTHINGTON -- Emily Williamson wasn't thinking about winning. She just wanted to play the best she could. And on Tuesday, her best was pretty good. An eighth-grader on Worthington's girls' tennis team, Williamson earned the Trojans' lone victory...

Aaron Hagen/Daily Globe Elizabeth Luke focuses in during her girls' tennis match on Tuesday in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- Emily Williamson wasn't thinking about winning.

She just wanted to play the best she could.

And on Tuesday, her best was pretty good.

An eighth-grader on Worthington's girls' tennis team, Williamson earned the Trojans' lone victory in a match against Martin County West.

"I just went out there and played the game I knew I could play," Williamson said moments after her 6-4, 6-2 win against Emily Lawrence. "I didn't think about winning and just played the best I could."


While Worthington couldn't end its losing streak -- MCW won 6-1 -- Williamson did.

"It feels good after having a pretty good losing streak," she said. "It just feels good to know that it is possible. I knew it was, it just actually feels good to win."

The last time Williamson earned a victory was on Sept 2, 2009 in a doubles match.

But with the win Tuesday at No. 3 singles, Williamson said she felt a sense of relief.

"I just focused more on her weaknesses rather than mine," she said. "More toward the first set, I was getting pretty frustrated with myself. I just stuck in there and finished it out."

In both sets, Williamson found herself in a hole. But she was determined to fight for a victory.

"In both sets, she got ahead of me 2-1, when I was on my bad side, she would sweep me with that side," she said. "I said, 'She's not going to get these next ones. There is no way.'"

And Lawrence didn't, although it wasn't always easy. At times, Williamson would need a moment to clear her head and compose herself.


"I just totally stopped what I was thinking and emptied my mind," she said. "I was like, 'This is what we're going to do now, let's start fresh and go with something new.'"

She often took control by placing her shots against a tough opponent.

"I think sometimes when you're in a funk, it's easy to overlook things," Worthington head coach Mike Marquardt said. "Emily took control and moved the ball well. She figured out that hey, this is the girl's weakness and Emily basically took all of her thoughts that she had and put it on the other girl. Emily wasn't really worried about if she was hitting her top-spin shots or hitting her serves too deep. She was just getting the ball and she really controlled the tempo of the game."

In a match closer than the scores, Kate Lesnar lost 6-1, 6-3 to Aziley Smith at No. 1 singles.

"I was playing good, but she was just a really good player, too," Lesnar said. "I think I played the best I could against her.

"At first I was a little intimidated playing No. 1 singles. But after getting going, I realized that I could still keep up with her."

Smith, a tall and athletic player, wasn't giving Lesnar many openings to put shots away.

"I'd win a few points in each game, but I could never finish," Lesnar said. "We would get a long point going and I could never finish the actual point. I'd go for a while, and it was like, 'Oh my gosh, it's frustrating.'


"Usually I'm better at finishing than I was today. I was just a little off."

Sabrina Klein lost 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles to Alexis Janssen, while Rachel Drietz suffered a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Laura Wachter at No. 4 singles.

"We were able to get longer rallies and that really helped us out," Marquardt said. "I think the girls finally realized that hey, we can stay with teams and hit back and forth, place the ball well and do the things we want to do."

At No. 1 doubles, Worthington's Elizabeth Luke and Brianna Kempema lost 6-1, 6-2 to Karen Suter and Shawna Dressen.

The Trojan duo of Heather Loy and Kirsten Aljets lost 6-1, 6-1 to Kelci Russenberger and Megan Suter at No. 2 doubles.

"We played aggressive today, which was good," Loy said. "There was just something today that we played better. I had some good angle shots and my backhand was stronger today.

"This is only our second time playing together and this time went better than last time."

Ashley Jansma and Makensie Carstensen lost 6-0, 6-0 to Jennifer Hagen and KaLeigh Russenberger at No. 4 doubles as the Mavericks closed out a 6-1 victory.


"I think we really stepped it up," Marquardt said. "I talked to them and I said, 'You know what, every game counts.' Just because you're down 30-love or 40-love, you can't give up on the game. When the game is complete, then we move on. The doubles did a great job in general of trying to move the ball at the net. I thought we a little flat footed in the reaction to the lob, but at least we were attempting to finish the shot that was there."

The Trojans will be on the road on Thursday at Redwood Valley, where Williamson will look for consecutive victories.

"I'll just keep up this adrenaline rush I have going and just keep going," she said.

What To Read Next
Get Local