BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison girls tennis team swept six singles matches to open the season Tuesday night on Fort Madison’s courts.
The Lady Hounds took down Burlington-Notre Dame 8-1 with the only loss coming at No. 1 doubles.
Senior Larissa Ferrill knocked off the Nikes’ McKenzie Fry 8-6 at No. 1 singles, while Lanie Kuntz took advantage of some stellar serving to keep Notre Dame’s Bethany Shane off balance with an 8-3 win at No. 2 singles.
The two struggled getting in sync in doubles action however as Fry and Shane took that contest 9-7, for the Hounds only loss.
“I’m very pleased with how we performed as a team tonight. Notre Dame is a team who is traditionally tough and well-coached, so we’re happy leaving here tonight on top,” said first-year head coach Jeremy Swink.
“With any season opener there is some nerves and rust that need to get knocked off, but all-in-all our girls played well. There is always areas that we can improve in. A few that come to mind would be our team communication and chemistry with our doubles play.”
Rounding out the singles varsity action, Zoe Ramatowski beat Joleen Kelly 8-1 at No. 3 and Lily Cadwallader won by the same score over the Nikes Binita Gautum. At No. 5 Kirklynn Nafziger shut out Frankie Taylor 8-0, and Fort Madison’s Alyse Schmidt won 8-1 over Shuyu Xian.
The Hounds shut out the Nikes in the final two varsity doubles matches on the day with Ramatowski and Nafziger downing Kelly and Gautum 8-0, and Cadwallader and Schmidt knocking off Taylor and Xian 8-0.
The girls host a 6-team invitational on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.