The Highland High School girls tennis team won its own Highland Doubles Invitational on Sept. 10 before going on to sweep Waterloo 9-0 on Monday of last week and blowing by Collinsville 8-1 a day later.
The Lady Bulldogs totaled a final team score of 19 points to win its own doubles tournament over Hillsboro, Centralia, Greenville and Vandalia.
“We did very well, losing only one match out of a total of 20 doubles matches our five doubles teams played throughout the day,” Highland coach Matt Pellock said.
The Bulldogs had four of their five doubles teams win first place while the other finished a strong second.
At the No. 1 doubles spot, Kirsten Plocher and Elisabeth Meadows captured first place.
Also winning first place in their respective position were Anjuli Kampwerth and Mia Walters at No. 3 doubles, Destany Morland and Ashley Basden at the fourth doubles position, and Ariana Kampwerth and Mallory LaFrance at the fifth spot.
In addition, Kate Feldmann and Taylor Fleming took second at No. 2 doubles.
“We have had some rough luck completing this tournament in recent years, but ended up having some great weather and excellent tennis,” Pellock said. “It was a lot of fun to see the success from our team and watch the first matches on our new courts. It felt like this is the way tennis is supposed to be watched.”
HHS sweeps Waterloo 9-0
In the shutout of Waterloo, Highland was so dominant that not only did it not drop a set, but Highland won the match by an eye-popping combined games margin of 108 to 18.
HHS also won two matches by a double-bagel margin (6-0, 6-0). Highland also won also three doubles matches while only surrendering one individual game.
At the top singles spot, Plocher throttled Megan Molinari 6-2, 6-3.
Meadows double-bageled Waterloo’s Ellie Naumann at No. 2 singles and Basden shut out Mikayla Haloftis at the fifth position.
Also posting convincing victories in singles were Anjuli Kampwerth, a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Maddie Feick; Feldman, a 6-2, 6-1 victor over Bethany Holman; Ariana Kampwerth, a 6-1, 6-1 winner over Emily Williams.
In doubles action, Plocher and Meadows bounced Molinari and Naumann 6-0, 6-1; Feldmann and Fleming thumped Feick and Holman 6-0, 6-1; and Anjuli Kampwerth and Walters blasted Haloftis and Skylar Barker 6-1, 6-0.
HHS defeats Collinsville 8-1
Plocher suffered the team’s lone defeat as she fell 2-6, 0-6 to Jennaka Cain of the Kahoks.
Securing singles victories for the Bulldogs against Collinsville were: Meadows, a 6-4, 6-0 winner over Maggie Schlotter; Anjuli Kampwerth, a 6-2, 6-3 victor over Kyla Harris; Feldmann, a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Amy Burgess; Ariana Kampwerth, a 6-0, 6-0 victor over Karalyn Mitchell; and Basden, a 6-1, 6-1 winner over Lexi Ludgate.
In doubles, Plocher and Meadows were pushed to the limit, but the duo bounced back after dropping the first set 2-6 to outlast Cain and Schlotter 6-3 and 10-5 over the final two sets.
Also posting wins in doubles for HHS were Feldmann and Fleming, who thumped Harris and Burgess 6-3, 6-0; and Anjuli Kampwerth and Walters, who trumped Mitchell and Ludgate 6-1, 6-1.
Court opening ceremony
On Sunday, Sept. 11,a grand opening ceremony was held and the new HHS tennis courts were filled with kids, past Highland players and community members.
“It felt like tennis was back in Highland,” Pellock said. “The community was treated to some free tennis lessons and free food, all while enjoying this exceptional venue that our town has. Hopefully, it reignites a great sport and activity to the community.”
A special presentation was held to thank all the donors and organizations who have supported this project, along with the school district and city who helped fund the court project. A special thanks was given to Scott and Brenda Plocher, who were donors and led the initiative to bring this facility to our community, and were there at every step to make sure the project would become a reality.
Pellock said the highlight of the day was the tribute Scott Plocher gave to Larry and Carrie Iftner. The Iftners were long-time coaches of the HHS school teams and started the tennis program at Highland.
“The success and influence they have had on tennis in Highland was tremendous, and they were recognized with the naming of the new facility as the Iftner Tennis Complex,” Pellock said. “Some high quality tennis capped off the event when local players put on some doubles and singles matches for the tennis fans.”