BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison girls tennis team downed Keokuk Monday 6-3 and then turned around and shut out an overmatched Davis County squad Tuesday night. The wins have the Bloodhounds with a lofty 3-0 record, one of only two teams in the state at 3-0.
The Monday match was very similar in results to the Saturday matchup between the two squads in what was salvaged in the blustery conditions that shorted the Fort Madison Invitational.
Despite the continued cold temps from the weekend, the Hounds knocked off the Chiefs in the 3-6 seeds with wins highlighted by senior Kearstyn Johnson who downed Keokuk’s Maddie Miller 8-0 at No. 3 singles and Mercedee Doty downed Haylee Broadwell 8-0 at No. 5 singles.
At Nos. 4 and 6, juniors Larissa Ferrill and Lanie Kunts both won 8-2. At Nos. 1 and 2, senior Katie Larson lost to Keokuk’s Jakala Hall for the second time in two nights, this time 5-8. Sophomore exchange student Miho Shirai gave the Chiefs’ Daniela Lozano, a Chilean exchange student, a better match at 6-8.
Shirai and Larson fell in doubles to Hall and Lozano 2-8, but Johnson and Ferrill, and Doty and Kuntz both took Nos. 2 and 3 doubles 8-6 and 8-1, respectively.
On Monday, the Hounds took all nine matches from Davis County highlighted by Johnson’s 8-0 shut out at No. 3 singles. Johnson has only dropped one of 24 games on the young season.
Larson, who’s coming off an off-season knee injury, got in the win column for the first time this year with an 8-2 win over junior Abby Vaughn. Shirai got her first win as a Bloodhound with an 8-1 stroll over Davis County’s Haley Swan. Shirai ran into case of serving yips in the the Monday cold, but seemed to have ironed those out in the win Tuesday.
“Katie and Miho both played with much more confidence tonight which made a huge difference in both singles and doubles,” said head coach Amy Doherty. “After great singles games, Larissa and Kearstyn struggled to find their groove in doubles, but got it together enough to win in a tiebreaker.”
Ferrill, Doty, and Kuntz all breezed to easy wins Tuesday. Larson and Shirai also took an 8-2 win over Vaughn and Riley Jones at No. 1 doubles. Johnson and Ferrill needed a 7-1 tiebreaker to take the No. 2 doubles 9-8 over Swan and Avery Thompson. Doty and Kuntz rolled to an 8-4 No. 3 doubles win over Rebekah Settles and Abby Rotloe.
In junior varsity action, Zoe Ramatowski and Alyse Schmidt won 6-4, Lilli Scott and Lily Cadwallader won 5-0, Lauren Bailey and Deanna Warner fell in a close 3-4 match. Abbee Kelly and Jamie Folks won 6-4, Aniah Ross and Kelsey Penrod won 5-2, and Shayla Hoenig and Rachel Hellman lost 4-6. In junior varsity singles, Taylor Ann McGee won 5-3.
The Lady Hounds are off until Monday when they test their perfect record on the road at Mt. Pleasant.