The Clear Lake girls tennis team opened the season with a pair of wins in matches against Iowa Falls-Alden and Mason City.
Against IF-A on Thursday, April 4, the Lions found themselves down 0-4 after losing the first four singles matches. Number five player Alexis Atkinson and number six player Taylor Julsen each won to pull the Lions back to 2-4 heading into doubles play. All three Lions doubles teams posted victories, giving Clear Lake a 5-4 victory.
“With very little practice time on the courts (because of snow) and the first match jitters, I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Head Coach Mary Jo Peterson. “But right away, the doubles teams seemed to click to come from behind in the overall match to get the job done. With a team that is heavy in seniors, they didn;t panic and played solid doubles matches.”
The coach said it was clear the the Lions’ number two doubles team (Kaitlyn Pitzen and Julsen) and number three (Atkinson and Amie Adams) would secure a win, the number one team of Jenna Peterson and Carly Ouverson faced more of a challenge. They were up 7-4, but then felt more pressure at 7-7. They kept fighting and came away with a 10-7 win.
“We knew we had our hands full, as Iowa Falls-Alden is typically one of the better teams in the conference,” added Coach Peterson. “It’s the first time we’ve beat Iowa Falls in a long time.”
In junior varsity play, doubles victories were recorded by: Drew Davis/Kristen Hewett, 4-1; Lindsey Lousenberg/Kirsten Jordan, 4-0; Hailey Grell/Stephanie Duregger, 4.2; Myah Loux/Regan Brackey, 4-1.
CL 8, MC 1
There were no more first match jitters, but all players had to battle the elements and make adjustments to the wind and cold against Mason City Friday, April 5.
The Lions got wins in five of six singles matches, with Jenna Peterson (6-1, 6-2), Alexis Atkinson (6-4, 6-0) and Taylor Julsen (6-3, 6-2) each winning in two games. Kaitlyn Pitzen and Amie Adams got their wins in tiebreakers. Pitzen was a 6-2, 7-6, 7-5 winner, while Adams won by scores of 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.
The Lions swept doubles play. Peterson and Ouverson won by scores of 6-1, 6-0. Pitzzen and Juksen were 6-3, 6-4 winners and the team of Atkinson and Adams posted scores of 6-2, 6-4.
“With two matches under our belts, we can see what we need to work on,” said Coach Peterson. “Early in the season it’s nice to have two wins to build off of as we head into a challenging week of play against St. Ed’s, Osage and Hampton-Dumont.”
In junior varsity play, doubles wins were posted by Courney Anderson/Miranda Mundy, 4-2; Drew Davis/Kristen Hewett, 4-3; Lindsey Loudenberg/Kirsten Jordan, 4-0; Lindsey Loudenberg/Kylie Bittjen, 4-0; Hailey grell/Stephanie Duregger, 4-1; Kelli Gapinski/Haley Harrison, 4-3.