The Lady Spartans won the final round of the Class 1, District 8 Tournament on the MHS courts, 5-2. Although the Lady Owls entered the meet as the No. 1 seed -- coming off an NCMC Tournament championship Saturday -- and Moberly was No. 3, it wasn't an outcome which shocked head coach Susan Carney.
"This is the strongest Moberly girls team I have seen," Carney said. "They have lots of seniors and very motivated."
Although Marshall won the first match to come off the court, senior Stephanie Markes getting a 6-2, 6-2 victory at No. 2 singles, the Lady Spartans came on strong. After losing to sophomore Molly Evans in the semifinal round of the conference tourney, Moberly senior Naomi Lewis took the No. 1 singles tilt, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.
The Lady Spartans captured three NCMC singles titles in direct meetings with Marshall players -- and all three repeated their victories in similar fashion -- the two match-ups which went to tiebreakers previously going three sets.
Senior Kelli Kraft bested freshman Taylor Crawford at No. 3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, and junior Emily McCarter came from behind for a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 decision over junior Payton Beeler at No. 4.
"It was very close, but we just had trouble closing them out," Carney said.
Also picking up a singles win for Moberly was senior Katie Matheis at No. 5, defeating junior Amanda Harrelson, 6-3, 6-3.
The Lady Owls got their second win from junior Idalia Aguilar at No. 6, a 6-4, 6-3 sweep of junior Amber Morris.
With three of the top four singles matches going extra sets, the only doubles tilt to be completed was at No. 3, where Matheis and Morris downed Aguilar and senior Sam Huston, 6-3, 6-2.
It was the first dual loss against a league opponent this season for Marshall (14-3). The Lady Owls will host the Class 1, District 8 Individual Tournament on Saturday.
Moberly (12-3) made the playoffs for only the third time, the first since 2007, and it has yet to win a sectional. The Lady Spartans will be on the road Oct. 13 at the District 7 champion's venue, to be determined today between Palmyra and Duchesne of St. Charles.