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Putnam, Souksavath double down on Marshall

tennis

WORTHINGTON -- Maggie Putnam and Cynthia Souksavath didn’t exactly insist that they play more doubles this fall. The message was received anyway.

“I think the coaches knew,” said Souksavath.

“We kind of hinted at it at the end of last year,” said Putnam.

Veteran singles performers, Putnam and Souksavath doubled up on Tuesday to beat Marshall Tigers Kaia Christensen and Maggie Tabaka 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles on a warm and windy afternoon at the local tennis courts.

Marshall prevailed as a team, 5-2.

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There are advantages to doubles, say the Trojans’ doubles enthusiasts, that range from psychological to practical.

“It’s just nice to have someone to talk to,” explained Souksavath. “You don’t stress yourself out so much. It’s good to know that someone has your back. And you’ve got a bigger court, too. That’s the neat thing about doubles, you have a bigger court.”

Putnam agreed, and then some. “It’s a completely different game. I just think that doubles is more fun, to have someone there for you.”

On Tuesday, the WHS duo was in control of their match throughout. They worked well together, and Putnam -- who held down the No. 1 singles spot for the Trojans last year as a junior -- was especially impressive with the full variety of her shots. She hit the ball with pace at baseline and at the net, placed it consistently well, and put spin on the ball to further confuse the Tigers.

About the only mistake Putnam made in the match was once at the service line. Her ball toss on a second serve was caught by the wind, but she attempted to hit it anyway and double-faulted.

In the future, she acknowledged, she’ll let it fall and toss it more carefully the next time.

Even so, Souksavath -- who played mostly No. 3 singles last year -- clearly appreciates her fellow senior.

“She’s really good at the net. I’m getting better at the net, but she can hit those nice volleys, and backspin,” she said.

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Putnam, too, was quick with praise. “I’ve learned that she’s really good at having my back. Like when I’m at the net and miss a shot, she can make the shot,” she said.

Worthington’s only other victory against the Tigers Tuesday came at No. 3 doubles where Neveah Schrieber and Cindy Hernandez outplayed Danielle Ewing and Kelli Remme 6-4, 6-3. Marshall won at No. 2 doubles with Regan Loft and Leah Schaefer, 6-2 and 7-5 over Kya Nickel and Jasmine Riley.

All four singles matches went Marshall’s way. At No. 1, Gionna Parsa topped Kessey Aljets 6-0, 6-3. At No. 2, Eden Knudson won 6-1, 6-4 over over Ivy Jenson. At No. 3, Alexis Moat beat Marah Darling 6-0, 6-3. And at No. 4, Mariah Bergjord won 6-2, 6-1 over Taya Oberloh.

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Friday night high school sports roundup:
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WORTHINGTON – The top 10 teams in Minnesota Class A high school gymnastics will be in Worthington on Saturday (Jan. 28) for the state True Team meet. Participating teams are Becker, Benson, Big Lake, Byron, Detroit Lakes, Mankato West, Melrose, New London-Spicer, St. Peter, and Worthington.
Tom Goehle, son of legendary coach Hugo Goehle, was once a star athlete at Hills-Beaver Creek High School. Now he gives back through coaching and his involvement in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.