Larson/Shirai advance to girls state tennis meet


FAIRFIELD – Fort Madison’s top girls double tennis team breezed through the bracket at Fairfield Middle School Wednesday to advance to the girls state tennis meet on May 30th and 31st in Waterloo.

Larson and Shirai faced a familiar foe in Burlington Notre Dames’ Lydia Becker and Claire Hackenmiller in the championship and had little trouble dispatching the Nikes 6-2, 6-1 for the right to go to state. Becker and Hackenmiller will also advance as the runner-up in the district.

Katie Larson, foreground, and Miho Shirai, at baseline, work for a point against Burlington Notre Dame earlier this season. The FMHS duo faced the Nikes again and won advancing to the 2018 girls IGHSAU tennis tournament on May 30-31 in Waterloo. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

Larson, a senior, and Shirai, a sophomore exchange student from Japan, started the day with a shutout of Davis County’s Avery Thompson and Isabella Tranquillo 6-0, 6-0.

Then Notre Dame’s No. 2 doubles team of Riley Brueck and MacKenzie Fry came into the picture and FMHS ended the Nikes’ season with a 6-3, 6-1 win.

Becker and Hackenmiller came off a three-set tiebreaker win over Davenport Assumption with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 win to advance to the finals with Larson and Shirai.

The Fort Madison duo stopped Keokuk’s Jakala Hall and Daniella Lozano 6-3, 6-2 to set up the title match.

Fort Madison’s No. 2 doubles team of Kearstyn Johnson and Larissa Ferrill won their first match of the day with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Mt. Pleasant’s Sierra Barton and Breeana Runyon, but then had their season come to an end at the hands of Becker and Hackenmiller 6-3, 6-2.

In singles action, Mercedee Doty who played at No. 5 singles all year for the Hounds, got out of the first round with a win over Katie Conner in a long 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 three-set match. But then ran up against one of the best players in the state in Anatta Charoenkul who only gave up one game in a 6-1, 6-0 win over the Bloodhound.

Lanie Kuntz, who played at No. 6 singles for the Bloodhounds this year also won her first match with a 6-1, 7-5 over Centerville’s Sarah Sheets. Kuntz then faced Davenport Assumption’s Lauren DiJulio falling 6-2, 6-1 to end Kuntz’ season.

The state tournament will be played at Waterloo’s Byrnes Park with play starting at 9 a.m.

About Chuck Vandenberg 5066 Articles
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