Swept by Luverne a year ago, the Marshall girls' tennis team was hoping for a turnaround in its home dual against the Cardinals on Tuesday. They didn't get shut out this year, but the Tigers still fell short against their Southwest Conference rival, losing 5-2.
Luverne showed why its one of the top teams in the Southwest Conference by sweeping matches in four of their five wins on a hot and windy afternoon.
"I thought Luverne was going to be our toughest match and was hoping that with where we are this year compared to where we were last year that we'd be able to do a little better today," Marshall head coach Holly Knudson said. "But it is what it is. We just have to get back to practice and continue to try to get better."
Photo by Matt Dahlseid
Marshall No. 1 singles player Julia Hartmann lunges forward to make an attempt at a backhand shot during her match against Luverne’s Kaitlin Wohnoutka Tuesday at Marshall High School. Wohnoutka won the match in three sets.
The victory moves Luverne to 8-3 overall, while Marshall drops to 4-7.
The most competitive match of the afternoon was at No. 1 singles, where Luverne's Kaitilin Wohnoutka and Marshall's Julia Hartmann battled through several long rallies. After dropping the first set, Hartmann found herself down 5-1 in the second set but managed to fight back and force a tiebreak, which she won 7-4. But in the end, Wohnoutka prevailed with a 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4 victory.
"Kaitlin and Julia really went at it," Knudson said. "Julia kind of fluctuates here and there sometimes. She'll get down and then she'll kick it into high gear.
"That's mental part of the game. The goal is to play at a high level and sustain it through the match. The pendulum can swing very quickly. We just have to try to get more match toughness."
The Tigers' only singles win came at No. 2 singles where Brooke Louwagie easily dispatched of Emily Robinson 6-2, 6-1.
Marshall also got a doubles win from its No. 2 team of Annie Samuelson and Brittany Soupir. The pair bounced back from a slow first set to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
"They tend to take a while to warm up," Knudson said of Samuelson and Soupir, "but hey, that's how it is sometimes. They just needed a little pepping up to get going."
The Tigers continue conference play Thursday when they travel to Worthington to take on the Trojans.
Luverne 5, Marshall 2
1. Kaitlin Wohnoutka (LUV) def. Julia Hartmann 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4
2. Brooke Louwagie (MAR) def. Emily Robinson 6-2, 6-1
3. Katie Eeton (LUV) def. Jenna Gannott 6-4, 6-3
4. Emily Johnson (LUV) def. Anja Baumgarn 6-2, 6-0
1. Paige Adams/Kynzie Smedsrud (LUV) def. Maggie Roy/Maddie Schoephoerster 6-2, 6-2
2. Annie Samuelson/Brittany Soupir (MAR) def. Brianna Erickson/Lexie Severtson 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
3. Mckenzie Wenninger/Tatiana Gust (LUV) def. Crista Schultze/Rachel Landmark 6-3, 6-3