BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Tennis in Fort Madison keeps getting better and better.
The Fort Madison girls beat Burlington 5-4 on Friday night in girls high school action. The meet was a makeup of a rain out earlier in the season.
“Holy cow, this one was a nail biter!,” Head Coach Amy Doherty said.
“The girls played very well tonight and even the losing matches had many close games. Katie and Hope found a really nice groove tonight and got us the win we needed to take the meet. They all pulled through and earned us our first win against Burlington in many years, a great improvement from the 0-9 score from last year.”
The two team split the six singles matches and the meet came down to the last doubles match, which pitted Katie Larson and Hope Gray against Emma Johanns and Emily Bloomer. Mercedee Doty and Charissa Smith had come back to get an 8-6 win over Abby Wittkamp and Hallie Todd after being down 3-5 in the first-to-eight-by-two format.
Kearstyn Johnson and Larissa Ferrill had fallen to Grace Breuer and Rachel Mason 4-8 at No. 2 doubles.
Larson and Gray were able to get up a service game and hold that for an 8-5 win to give the Hounds a 5-4 win on the night.
In singles action the Lady Grayhounds got the best of FMHS’ No. 1 and No. 2 players in Larson and Johnson. Larson fell to Johanns 4-8 and Johnson fell to Bloomer in a closer 6-8 match.
Gray got the Hounds on the board with a win at No. 3 8-3 over Breuer. Larissa Ferrill swung the momentum in favor of Fort Madison when she beat Mason 9-8 in a 8-6 tiebreaker.
Doty gave the Hounds another win at No. 5 singles when she beat Wittkamp 8-5. Smith fell to Todd 5-8.
The Lady Hounds face a tough Fairfield team on the road Tuesday.
In junior varsity action, Lanie Kuntz and Lilli Scott won 6-1, Alyse Schmidt and Marlee Klesner lost 3-6, Zoe Ramatowski and CJ Lozano won 7-5. Jamie Folks and Paige Auge won 6-2, Deanna Warner and Taylor-Ann McGee lost 0-6, Abbee Kelly and Kuntz lost 2-5 and Kelsey Penrod and Zina Johnstun lost 1-6.