The Highland tennis Lady Bulldogs nipped visiting Roxana and Mascoutah, both by the same 5-4 count, early last week to boost their season dual-match record to 9-2.
First on Monday of last week, Highland and Roxana split the singles matches 3-3, but the Bulldogs took two of the three doubles matches to crack the Shells pull out the team triumph.
The next day, Mascoutah traveled to HHS and won four of the six singles matches to put itself on the brink of the team victory. But the Bulldogs answered the challenge by sweeping all three doubles matches to edge out the Indians.
“These were crucial wins for us against Roxana who is a sectional opponent and Mascoutah is both sectional and conference,” Highland coach Matt Pellock said. “With the quality of doubles we have been playing, we feel like we just need a couple singles wins and we can get the win from our doubles teams. The past two weeks we went 14 for 15 in doubles.”
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Highland’s scheduled home match on Thursday against Civic Memorial was rained out.
HHS defeats Roxana
Against the Shells, Highland received wins in singles from Kirsten Plocher, Kate Feldmann and Ashley Basden.
At No. 1 singles, Plocher easily bounced Sydney Owsley 6-2, 6-0.
“Kirsten played lights out the whole evening against Roxana, finally getting the quality singles win she has been looking for, and against a state qualifier in Sydney Owsley,” Pellock said.
At the fourth singles spot, Feldmann prevailed in a tough three-set match over Haley Milazzo by scores of 2-6, 6-2 and 10-7.
And at No. 6 singles, Basden trumped Lauren Gegen 6-2, 6-1.
At the fifth singles position, Ariana Kampwerth suffered a heart-breaking three set defeat to Abbey Gegan by scores of 7-6, 4-6, 7-10.
At No. 1 doubles, Plocher and Elisabeth Meadows defeated Milazzo 7-6, 6-3, while third-seeded Anjuli Kampwerth and Mia Walters took down Lauren and Abbey Gegen 8-3.
HHS defeats Mascoutah
After dropping four of the six singles matches, HHS doubles teams stepped up big again to provide the difference in the outcome of the match.
At the top position, Plocher and Meadows edged out Emma Wieland and Anna Rosenstengel 7-6, 6-4.
“One doubles was very well played by both teams, and Elisabeth had a great service game to hold serve and win the match,” Pellock said. “Two tight matches at one doubles and Kirsten and Elisabeth are putting themselves in a high seed position with those wins.”
At No. 2 doubles, Feldmann and Fleming swung by Colleen Spehar and Engelogo 6-4, 6-2.
And at the third doubles spot, Anjuli Kampwerth and Walters bested Emma Cook and Franquez 6-1, 6-3.
Winning in singles for Highland were No. 4 Feldmann, who survived over Engelogo by scores of 2-6, 6-2, 10-8 and No. 6 Basden, who crushed Franquez 6-1, 6-0.
“What stands out in these victories were two come from behind wins for Kate at 4 singles,” Pellock said. “Those kept us in the match and especially against Mascoutah. Ashley Basden also improves her conference singles record staying undefeated at number 6.
Ariana Kampwerth lost a hard-to-swallow three-set match to Cook, 2-6, 7-6, 8-10.
“Mascoutah was very tough in singles and we faced losing first sets in (Nos.) 1 through 5 singles,” Pellock said. “We had had two comebacks with Ariana losing a tough match, but she battled well throughout that match.”