Bulldog tennis gets job done against Estherville-LC

Friday, April 21, 2017
(Sentinel Photo By Allen Hamil) Above, Jessica Eisma hits the return to her Estherville-Lincoln Central opponent. Eisma won her match 10-3.

The Le Mars Community tennis teams both came away with wins on Tuesday as the boys swept to an easy 9-0 win on the road and the girls tallied a 7-2 win at home.

Elizabeth Ihrke faced one of the best opponents she’s had to deal with so far in the top spot, but forged a 10-4 win by wearing down her opponent with long points.

Mary Meis fell in her match 10-2, but coach Tifany Wright said the final score showed the game to be more lopsided than it really was.

“The score does not reflect how hard Mary played nor how close a lot of the games were,” Wright said. “This could have gone either way. This girl had a lot of shots to her advantage. She was able to slice and just came up with some incredible winners.”

Jessica Eisma and Emily Van Otterloo each came away with 10-3 wins out of the middle part of the lineup.

“Eisma was playing lights out today,” Wright said. “She just hit it so clean and with such pace. It was by far the best I have seen her play and she has already played some great matches. I am certain she could have beaten most teams’ #1’s with the way she was playing today.”

Maddy Mahan brushed off a sluggish start by rattling off four straight wins after taking a 5-4 lead. Mahan ended with a 10-5 win.

Megan Friedenbach fell behind 8-2, but fought back to tie the game with six straight game wins. She could not keep the momentum going as she ended up falling 10-8.

The team faced some closer than expected doubles matches as Mahan and Friedenbach won 10-6 in #3 doubles, Meis and Van Otterloo won 10-5 in #2 doubles and Ihrke and Eisma needed a tiebreaker to win #1 doubles 11-10.

“Doubles was less than desirable even though we came away with three wins,” Wright said. “We had really big leads in all three matches. #1 was up 7-3. #2 was up 8-1, and #3 was up 8-1. We will need to work on some mental toughness and not letting off the gas when we are close to the ‘W’.”

Ihrke and Eisma pulled it together with the match on the line as they dominated the tiebreaker 7-1.

The boys team faced little resistance from the Midgets with a trio of 10-0 wins in singles. Numbers two through four, played by Kyle Marek, Jake Thompson and Zach Wingert each won by those scores.

“They really dominated on the front side on the singles,” Le Mars boys coach Bill Dalton said. “Really played strong tennis, consistent, hit the ball well, served pretty good. Zach Wingert’s really doing a good job of getting the ball placed where he wants to and I’m satisfied with that.”

The final three singles matches were decided by 10-2 scores with Jake Malik, Seth Oetken and Zach Pratt each getting wins.

“Had two newcomers, Seth Oetken and Zach Pratt, won 10-2 on both of their singles,” Dalton said. “I’m real proud of their effort. They’ve really been coming along with their strokes and really improving their game.”

The doubles matches were again slightly more competitive. Marek and Thompson survived with a 10-6 win, a score Dalton would like to see be less close.

“They came out real strong, but then in the middle they just kind of got a little complacent, just made some unforced errors that they didn’t need to. We’ve got to clear that up.”

Malik and Wingert combined for a 10-3 doubles win while Oetken and Caleb Ketelsen won their doubles match 10-2.

The teams have a quick turnaround as they play on Friday in a make-up date with Spirit Lake.

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