On Sept. 15, the Fergus Falls Otters girls tennis team hosted the Rocori Spartans in a Central Lakes Conference dual. In arguably the closest match of the season, Rocori snuck out a 4-3 victory over the Otters.
“We knew we’d have an absolute battle on our hands, Rocori was 9-3 coming into the match and has had some impressive wins on the year,” said Otters coach Jamie Lill. “We didn’t quite come out on top, but we definitely played very well and saw competitive matches all around.”
The doubles win came from the Otters first doubles team of Karley Braeger and Cyntreya Lockett who cruised through their first set and, after a little lull in their level of play, earned the match in a second set tie breaker. The duo are really playing well right now and can compete at the top of the doubles ladder with very good teams.
Ruby Ellison and Ashtyn Lill earned wins in the singles lineup.
“Ellison played a very tight, competitive match at third singles, as a second year player and just a freshman, is still really just learning the game,” stated Jamie. “She’s gaining confidence to just go out there and stroke the ball. She’s learning to trust her strokes, follow through and play aggressive tennis.”
After winning a tight first set, Ellison found herself down 4-1 in the second before she rattled off 5 straight games to get the win. Ashtyn earned a fairly routine win at fourth singles, 6-1, 6-4.
“With just a little hiccup in the second set, Ashtyn took care of business pretty well tonight. She’s striking the ball very well right now and using her first serve as a weapon,” said Jamie. “When Ashtyn plays aggressively and approaches the net, good things tend to happen for her and she’s been doing a lot of that lately.”
With the teams tied at 3 a piece, the third doubles duo of Keziah Hartwell and Kylie King sent their match to a decisive third set. In just their second match together as a team and King’s second varsity match, these girls put in a heck of an effort in a nail-biter of a three set match. The duo dropped the first set 4-6 and won the second set 6-4 to earn a third set. The third set was very back-and-forth. With King serving at 4-5, the girls found themselves down love-40 and facing triple match points against their serve. They fought off all three of them, along with another after a deuce point, before earning King’s service game to tie things up at 5-5.
“They battled so hard and played smart tennis, but fell just short in the final set and eventually dropped the match,” mentioned Jamie. “It was a great effort by Hartwell and King and they have absolutely nothing to hang their heads about.”
Fergus returns to action at home on Sept 19., hosting East Grand Forks.
1. Kaylene Andrusick (R) defeated Isabella Abrahams (FF) 6-3, 6-3.
2. Amber Field (R) defeated Leila Nasri (FF) 6-4, 6-1.
3. Ruby Ellison (FF) defeated Autumn Kron (S) 6-4, 6-4.
4. Ashtyn Lill (FF) defeated Allie Faber (S) 6-1, 6-4.
1. Karley Braeger/Cyntreya Lockett (FF) defeated Kaitlin Reitmeier (R) 6-2, 7-6(2).
2. Abby Gambradt/Megan Reitmeier (R) defeated Hannah Anderson/Hattie Fullhart (FF) 6-2, 6-1.
3. Grace Piehl/Jenny Leither (R) defeated Kezi Harwell/Kylie King (FF) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.