Bluejay girls bounce back
The MHS girls may have been blanked by SPASH on the road last Tuesday, but they rebounded for a nailbiter 4-3 victory when Thursday’s Marshfield rain-out was rescheduled for Monday.
The Panthers had taken hold of the close matches, but the Bluejays prevailed in two of three three-set matches against the other cats, at the top two doubles positions.
“We closed out WVC competition with a victory against Marshfield,” MHS coach Janet Thompson said. “It was very windy and that was a big factor in the matches. Our girls came out strong and figured out how to play well in the adverse conditions. Chloe (Krahn) and Annie (DeBroux) took control early in their matches and never looked back.
“The meet was all tied up at 3-3, and only #2 doubles were still playing. Karina (Baacke) and Morgan (Thompson) had lost the first set, but came back with some great serving and accurate lob shots to take over and win the second and third sets.”
Krahn (6-3, 6-4) and DeBroux (6-1, 6-3) halved the singles matches for Merrill, and Jolene Ladewig/Morgan Wilde (7-5, 3-6, 6-2) and Baacke/Thompson (4-6, 7-5, 6-3) pulled out the tight doubles matches.
Therese Renaud dropped a 3-6, 7-6 , 6-2 match and Leah Johnson (6-0, 6-1) and Amanda Leitzke/Ashley Ollhoff (6-4, 6-0) lost in straight sets.
The Panthers captured all three three-set matches as well as two other close ones.
DeBroux (1-6, 6-4, 6-1), Renaud (4-6, 6-3, 6-1) and Ladewig/ Wilde (7-5, 3-6, 6-2) dropped the long matches, while Johnson (6-4, 6-4) and Baacke/Thompson (6-3, 6-4) lost solid two-set tilts. Krahn (6-1, 6-1) and Leitzke/Ollhoff (6-2, 6-1) were also defeated in the 7-0 match.
“The team struggled against SPASH,” Thompson said. “We again were unable to close out and win the matches that went to three sets. It’s been an issue for us all season. In recent practices we’ve been doing more running and conditioning drills in an effort to improve stamina and be better prepared for long matches.
“I’ve also added drills that encourage the girls to have a plan for each point, rather than simply play defensively. That is another area where we need to improve. The drills help the girls to try to work quickly to get the advantage in the rally to set themselves up for a winning shot.
“I would like to see us finish strong at the conference tournament on Thursday.”
SPASH was at 5-1 in 2nd place in the Valley, while Merrill and Marshfield are tied at 2-4.
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