The Marshall girls' tennis team opened its 2012 season with a set of losses at the Brookings (S.D.) quadrangular. The Tigers faced three teams from South Dakota, but were unable to break through for a win, falling to Yankton 6-3, Brookings 5-4, and Aberdeen Central 9-0.
Despite going winless, the Tigers have reason to be optimistic about the season going forward.
"We're definitely in a better place this season, at this point, than we were last year," said Marshall head coach Holly Knudson. "Playing these three teams last year, we only won one match between all three schools. So we've definitely improved under that respect."
Team captains Maggie Roy and Brooke Louwagie hosted captains practices early in the summer to help the Tigers be ready for the start of the season. The improvements have been immediately noticeable.
Marshall opened the day with a loss to the Yankton Gazelles. The Tigers took three matches from Yankton. After Marshall's top two singles players lost, Anja Baumgarn got the first match win of the season for Marshall. Baumgarn defeated Yankton's Alexa Bryan, 8-6.
Marshall's other two match wins came from their top two doubles teams on the day. Julia Hartmann and Jenna Gannot defeated Sarah Rockne and Taylor Rothenberger 8-6. Maggie Roy and Maddie Schoephoerster also won 8-6, picking up their win against Bryan and Kim Cap.
The Tigers followed up their loss to Yankton with a 5-4 loss to the Brookings Bobcats. Marshall got out to a good start against Brookings, getting wins from its top two singles players. Hartmann cruised past Lydia Lucchesi 8-1, and Gannot beat Emma Lucchesi 8-5. The Lucchesis avenged their singles losses by defeating the Hartmann/Gannot pairing in a doubles match by an 8-2 score.
Anja Baumgarn picked up her second win of the day for the Tigers, as she got the best of Brookings' Lauri Anderson, 8-4. Baumgarn would factor in Marshall's last win of the day, as her and Brittany Soupir won a doubles match against Anderson and Brenna Langland.
Marshall was unable to improve on its earlier results as they were swept by the Aberdeen Central Golden Eagles, 9-0. Hartmann got the closest to preventing the sweep, losing to Aberdeen's top singles player Kristen Hanson 8-6.
With Friday's results final, the Tigers now look to continue improving as the season goes on in hope of outperforming last season's 3-14 mark.
"We've improved in our areas of increasing the pace on our balls, and our consistency," Knudson said. "And we have better footwork. Then again, we still need to work on all three of those things to get to the next level."
Following a rainout on Saturday, the Tigers (0-3) travel to Albert Lea today for a triangular with Albert Lea and New Ulm.
Yankton 6, Marshall 3
1. Sarah Rockne (Y) def. Julia Hartmann 8-5.
2. Sarah Santos (Y) def. Jenna Gannot 8-6.
3. Anja Baumgarn (M) def. Alexa Bryan 8-6.
4. Taylor Rothenberger (Y) def. Rachel Landmark 8-3.
5. Kim Cap (Y) def. Melise Baumgarn 8-4.
6. Anna Kokesh (Y) def. Christina Hanson 8-2.
1. Hartmann/Gannot (M) def. Rockne/Rothenberger 8-6.
2. Maggie Roy/Maddie Schoephoerster (M) def. Bryan/Cap 8-6.
3. Santos/Kaitlyn Frank (Y) def. Landmark/Brittany Soupir 8-4.
Brookings 5, Marshall 4
1. Hartmann (M) def. Lydia Lucchesi 8-1.
2. Gannot (M) def. Emma Lucchesi 8-5.
3. Brenna Langland (B) def. Schoephoerster 8-4.
4. Sarah He (B) def. Landmark 8-2.
5. A. Baumgarn (M) def. Lauri Anderson 8-4.
6. Beth Hildebrant (B) def. M. Baumgarn 8-1.
1. L. Lucchesi/E. Lucchesi (B) def. Roy/Schoephoerster 8-2.
2. A. Baumgarn/Soupir (M) def. Langland/Anderson 8-6.
3. He/Hildebrant (B) def. Tori St. Aubin/Hanson 8-0.
Aberdeen Central 9, Marshall 0
1. Kristen Hanson (AC) def. Hartmann 8-6.
2. Diana Peck (AC) def. Gannot 8-1.
3. Erica Hanson (AC) def. A. Baumgarn 8-0.
4. Paige Prissel (AC) def. Landmark 8-1.
5. Ashley Thone (AC) def. M. Baumgarn 8-0.
6. Kate Allen (AC) def. Crista Schultze 8-0.
1. K. Hanson/E Hanson (AC) def. Roy/Schoephoerster 8-3.
2. Thone/Prissel (AC) def. Soupir/A. Baumgarn 8-2.
3. Peck/Allen (AC) def. M. Baumgarn/St. Aubin 8-0.