Friday October 4 was a great day for the Kenton girls tennis team with three of their positions being able to win their first match before falling to various opponents in very close matches. “The team played so well today and were able to keep their level of game against opponents that were beatable. Though not all of our team won today, I am so proud of the growth and level of play they have been able to develop this season. Our team peaked at the time I hoped they would, and we saw some good, fun tennis today,” said Coach Katie Isenbarger. Losing for the Wildcats were second doubles team of Abbey Anglemyer and Samantha Lowe and second singles Lily Osborn. Abbey Anglemyer and Samantha Lowe were topped by Lima Central Catholic’s Nicole Patricio-Agosot and Paige Brinkman 6-1,6-0. Lily Osborn of Kenton fell to Ottawa-Glandorf’s Alyse Balhaugh 6-4, 6-1. “Abbey and Sam played well but weren’t able to stay consistent enough against the LCC team. Lily was very similar in her match and had to play a back-board opponent who got to everything. Sometimes those opponents are hard to beat especially when it feels like you are mentally trying to do everything you possibly can. Abbey and Sam had some great doubles rallies and were able to use their lobs to get some wins at the net and played well for their last match. Lily also had some great net play today and was able to force her opponent to make more mistakes in the first set,” said coach Katie Isenbarger. Winning for the wildcats in their first round matches were first singles Mykaela Schriber, third singles Grace Collins, and first doubles Kayce Sherman and Aaliyah Rogers. First doubles of Kayce and Aaliyah battled in both their matches today. Their first match against Elida’s Emily Bowers and Bea Yumul they bested in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. Going into the round of sixteen, Kayce and Aaliyah from Kenton had to face Ottawa-Glandorf’s Megan Ketner and Lauryn Bockrath to whom they lost in three sets. The first set Kayce and Aaliyah were able to win 6-3 by having great net play, lobs, and cross courts. The next two sets they lost 6-1,6-1 from making too many errors and a minor injury to one of their players. “I thought Kayce and Aaliyah played some of their best tennis today. Their first match you could tell they wanted to win to badly, which helped propel them into their second. Consistently today in both matches they had fantastic poaches and cross courts. During the end of the first set against OG, Kayce pulled something in her back going for a ball. The rest of the match she was in pain trying to poach and stroke, but you could tell it was affecting her. She and Aaliyah played through and had so many points go back and forth to deuce. I am proud of their progress and was happy to watch them have good doubles points today.” Also winning their first set was Kenton’s third singles Grace Collins who topped Ayersville’s Tisha Martinez 6-0, 6-0. Grace had to win the match to play into the round of 32, where she met the number four seed Kunmi Ojo from Shawnee. Grace lost to Kumni 6-0, 6-1. “Grace has improved so much this season and really has learned how to have a positive mental game against any opponent she plays. In her first match she played Tisha who didn’t have a lot of pace and got the ball back short. Grace stayed calmed and was able to come into the net to win the match quickly. Against Kumni, she was trying to stay consistent and force Kumni to make mistakes. She was able to win a game in the second set and came off the court learning a lot from both matches. She has great potential and it was a great day to watch her play some good tennis.” The final player to win for the Wildcats Friday was senior captain and first singles Mykaela Schriber. Mykaela topped Celina’s Gracie Gabes in her first match 6-1, 6-3 to help her move into the round of 16. Mykaela faced LCC’s Anna Janowski in the round of sixteen and played a three set thriller in which she fell 3-6, 6-1, 2-6 to Anna. “Mykaela played some of her best tennis today and was able to control and dictate in both of her matches. Against Gracie, Mykaela stayed consistent but also attacked with a great forehand cross-court that allowed her to win in two sets. As Mykaela faced Anna, she had to learn to play against someone who played with a lot of slice and low balls. Anna would slice both her forehand and backhand which caused Mykaela to adjust consistently throughout the match. After losing the first set, Mykaela began gaining some confidence after winning a few of the the many games that went to deuce. She caused Anna to move forehand to backhand, depth, and then short and out hit her to claim the second set 6-1 though it was close the entire time. To see her lose the third set in one of the best matches I have seen her play was hard, but I am so proud of how she stayed composed and played today. We had hopes of her going to districts again, but at this level of tennis, there are so many good players and sometimes their shots out-beat yours. Overall, our girls had a great day of tennis and I am so proud of how far we have come this season, ” said coach Katie Isenbarger.
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