Marshall tennis: Lady Owls win tourney at Trenton
TRENTON -- An almost-perfect showing by the singles line-up Saturday led the Marshall girls' tennis team to the title of the Trenton Quad.
The Lady Owls won 17 of 18 singles matches against three solid opponents, an absolute necessity for them in the top-12 format where they have to rely on inexperienced players in doubles -- who only took one of nine tilts.
Marshall opened with a 6-3 victory over the host Lady Bulldogs (2-3) and 7-2 win in a rematch with Chillicothe (6-5). Seniors Virginia Hutcherson and Audra Taylor and sophomores Haley Evans, Amy Van, Skylar Simpson and Allea Summers got through all of those matches unscathed -- although Summers had to come back from a 6-3 deficit against Lady Hornets junior Jordan Gardner to pull out a 9-7 decision at No. 4.
The lone doubles win came at No. 3 against Chillicothe as junior Olivia Diehm and freshman Sam Huston notched an 8-2 victory.
What proved to be the championship match was the closest, with the Lady Owls nipping Savannah, 5-4. The Lady Savages (5-2) pulled even with junior Devon Tracy's 8-3 win over Taylor, but Summers nailed down the win in the last match off the court -- defeating senior Ashton Knorr, 8-3.
"They are getting stronger all the time," MHS head coach Susan Carney said of her singles players. "We are working on mental toughness and being positive on the court as the season progresses because we know it is so important."
Carney was also encouraged by her young doubles players. Senior Beatrice Brioschi and junior Janna Fisher gave Savannah seniors Jessica Rasco and Koren Miller a tough fight during a 9-8 (7-2) tiebreaker loss and junior Cecibel Bahamonde and freshman Cortney Morrison were competitive in all of their matches.
"These girls are getting stronger every match," Carney said. "Their doubles strategies are coming around and they are getting more consistent hitting the ball."
Marshall (8-0) will be at home today for a pair of NCMC contests against Hannibal and Boonville.