MHS netters open with shutout win

Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Junior Virginia Hutcherson got the Lady Owls' season off to an encouraging start with an 8-1 victory at No. 1 singles. (Chris Allen/Democrat-News)

KNOB NOSTER -- There will be tougher challenges ahead, of course, but the Marshall girls' tennis team found out Monday that its youth did not completely preclude success.

With only two of its six starters back from a year ago, the Lady Owls began the new campaign with a 9-0 non-conference road rout of a Knob Noster club which boasted five seniors in its line-up.

This even before Marshall had completed its pre-season ladder tournament to sort out the final two singles spots.

Not surprising were the wins rung up by juniors Virginia Hutcherson and Kara Ward in the top two positions.

Hutcherson defeated senior Ericka Kjos, 8-1, while Ward blanked senior Ashley Kjos, 8-0.

Seniors Kim Ward (8-3) and Olivia Butler (8-0) were also impressive at Nos. 3 and 4, while freshmen Amy Van (8-1) and Skylar Simpson (8-0) also won their varsity debuts at Nos. 5 and 6.

Van and Simpson are battling for freshman Haley Evans -- an 8-0 winner at No. 1 singles during Marshall's 5-1 junior varsity win -- for the final two spots in the order, according to MHS head coach Susan Carney.

The Kjos sisters gave Hutcherson and Ward a test at No. 1 doubles before falling, 8-6.

However, the Lady Owls' other two combos -- Kim Van and Butler and Amy Van and Simpson -- each cruised to 8-1 wins.

Junior Audra Taylor won her No. 2 singles match on the JV side, 6-2, and teamed up with Evans for a 6-2 win at No. 2 doubles.

A pair of newcomers also won in singles, freshman Allea Summers (6-1) and senior novice Madison Cochran (6-3).

The Lady Owls' only loss was at No. 2 doubles, with a pair of first-year players -- freshman Julie Rector and sophomore Cecibel Bahamonde -- giving a test to sophomores Dana Pindilli and Aubrey Wallace during a 6-3 decision for the Lady Panthers (0-1).

Marshall (1-0) will be back in action again Thursday with a non-conference date at Class 1, District 7 foe Higginsville.

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