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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Evans-Markes duo wins district crown

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Lady Owls tennis team which won its third straight NCMC Tournament title consisted of (bottom row, from left) Molly Evans, Payton Beeler, Idalia Aguilar, Stephanie Markes, Taylor crawford, Sam Huston, Amanda Harrelson, (top row) assistant coach Paul Gieringer, Kaylie Davenport, Ellen Woolsey, Nichole Gann, Savannah Simpson, Cortney Morrison and head coach Susan Carney.
(Photo contributed)
Three of the four entries from the Marshall girls' tennis team won medals on their home courts Saturday during the Class 1, District 8 Individual Tournament.

The Lady Owls had only one advance to the sectional round, though, as the No. 1 doubles team of sophomore Molly Evans and senior Stephanie Markes won all three of their matches to take the title.

Evans and Markes opened with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over the Moberly duo of seniors Anna Warren and Kelli Kraft, then followed that up in the semifinal round by coming from behind to defeat Kirksville's Aviel Kaschube and Taylor Smith, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.

That put them up against the Lady Spartans' No. 1 combo of senior Naomi Lewis and junior Emily McCarter, to whom the Lady Owls had lost 10-8 during an NCMC dual earlier in the season. This time, Evans and Markes prevailed in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2.

It's possible Lewis and McCarter were worn out by Marshall's No. 2 doubles team in the semifinals. After downing Boonville, 6-1, 6-0, to begin the meet, freshman Taylor Crawford and junior Payton Beeler gave the top-seeded Moberly pair all it could handle -- but dropped a pair of tiebreaker sets to fall 7-6 (7-2), 2-6, 7-6 (9-7).

"Taylor and Payton played their very best doubles of the year," remarked Lady Owls head coach Susan Carney. "They battled great long points before they had match point. It could not have been closer."

Crawford and Beeler captured third place with a 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 victory over Kaschube and Smith.

Marshall junior Amanda Harrelson was seeded fourth in singles, and that's where she ended up. After defeating Boonville junior Amanda Cook in the first round, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, she was eliminated by Kirksville's Kinsey Helton -- the No. 1 seed -- during a 6-1, 6-0 semifinal.

Helton went on to claim the title with a 6-1, 6-1 sweep of Moberly senior Katie Mattheis. Harrelson dropped the third-place match by a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 margin to the Lady Tigers' Ashley Lyon -- who had also been taken to three sets in her opening match against Marshall junior Idalia Aguilar, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2.

"Amanda played her heart out going three sets in two matches," Carney said. "It was a great way to finish."

The Lady Owls will host the Class 1, Section 4 Tournament on Tuesday, with the winners of the two-round meet heading to the MSHSAA Individual Championships, Oct. 19-20 at Springfield. Evans and Markes will open against a pair from Duchesne of St. Charles, which was beaten in the District 7 finals by Palmyra.

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