FORT MADISON – Despite facing some very tough high seed tennis, the FMHS girls were able to avenge a lost last week to Fairfield with a 5-4 win at home Tuesday.
Fairfield sports two of the best girls players in the state with Yana Gaskell and Anatta Charoenkul, who lived up to the hype again. Last week, top-ranked Yana Gaskell shut out senior Katie Larson, but on Tuesday, she played at No. 2 to face FMHS sophomore Miho Shirai.
Shirai took the first game of the first set off Gaskell, which was the first game she’s dropped all year, coming into the match 40-0. But then Gaskell turned up the pace and won the next eight games for an 8-1 win.
Larson lost to Charoenkul 8-0, but then the Hounds would start getting in the win column, winning all the matches in Nos. 3-6.
Senior Kearstyn Johnson, top-ranked in the state at No. 3 singles, knocked off Camielle Schaefer 8-5 to start the streak. Junior Larissa Ferrill downed Hermela Gabremariam 8-4.
At No. 5 singles, Mercedee Doty had to go to 9 games and a 7-4 tiebreaker to down Anna Beasley 9-8 (7-4). Lanie Kuntz came up with another big win for the Hounds at No. 6 with an 8-6 win over Nellie Higdon.
Carrying a 4-2 lead going into doubles play, Larson and Shirai fell 2-8 to Charoenkul and Gebramariam and then Johnson and Ferrill fell to Gaskell and Schaeffer 1-8 setting up a close No. 3 doubles match to win the match. Doty and Kuntz wiggled out an 8-6 win in that match to give the Hounds the win.
“I had told the girls going into the match that the top of their lineup was going to be tough to beat, so in order to win, 3-6 we’re really going to have to step it up and, by God, they did,” head coach Amy Doherty said.
“It came down to the No. 3 doubles match where Lanie and Mercedee battled nerves for a little while getting down 1-4, but they fought through it and turned the tables! I am so proud of this group of girls.”
In junior varsity action, Zoe Ramatowski and Alyse Schmidt tied in their doubles match 7-7, Lilli Scott and Lauren Bailey won 6-2, Deanna Warner and Abbee Kelly lost 2-6, Taylor Ann McGee and Aniah Ross won 9-7, Kelsey Penrod and Shyanna Hoenig fell 3-6 and Jamie Folks and Kirklynn Nafziger lost 1-6.
On Monday, Larson fell at No. 1 singles to Quinn Whaley, but the Hounds won all the remaining singles matches to down Mt. Pleasant 7-2.
Shirai won 8-3 at No. 2 singles, Kearstyn Johnson stayed unbeaten with an 8-1 win at No. 3 singles, Larissa Ferrill won 8-4, and Lanie Kuntz downed Sierra Barton in a 9-7 affair. Sophomore Zoe Ramatowski got a shot at a varsity match with a No. 6 singles win over Breana Runyon 8-3.
In doubles action, Larson and Shirai won 8-5, Johnson and Ferrill won easily at 8-1, and Kuntz and Ramatowski fell 4-6.
The Bloodhounds take their 6-1 record against Burlington Notre Dame Thursday in Burlington.
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