The bad news is that the Fairfield girls? tennis squad was upset at Southeast Conference rival Fort Madison Tuesday night 4-5 in overall matches.
The good news is that the Trojans are still tied with the Bloodhounds for first place in the SEC and the May 7 conference tournament has just been moved to Fairfield from Keokuk due to the Trojans larger number of courts, giving FHS a home-court advantage when it matters most.
Fairfield had won 43 of their 45 matches during their first five contests on their way to an unchallenged 5-0 start.
?Honestly, I am not sure what happened,? said Head Coach Heidi Grunwald.
Things went well at the top of the Trojan order with No. 1 Anatta Charoenkul and No. 2 Yana Gaskell winning 8-0 and 8-1, respectively.
The trouble for the Trojan team started when the Bloodhounds No. 3 player, Kearstyn Johnson got her second victory of the season over Fairfield, defeating Cami Schaefer 8-5 after besting Hermela Gebremariam 8-6 back on April 17 when Fort Madison lost 7-2 at the Fairfield middle school courts.
In the No. 4 and No. 5 and No. 6 matchups, Larissa Ferrill, Mercedee Doty and Lanie Kuntz all avenged losses from last week, although against different Trojans, when the trio defeated Gebremariam 8-4, Anna Beasley 9-8 and Penelope Higdon 8-6, respectively.
With a 4-2 lead through the singles matches, the home team only needed to steal away one doubles pairing to escape with the upset victory, and that?s exactly what they did.
After Charoenkul and Gebremariam won 8-2 and Gaskell and Schaefer defeated Johnson/Ferrill 8-1, it came down to the ninth and final match when Fort Madison?s Doty and Kuntz defeated Beasley/Higdon in a hard-fought 8-6 final that forced a tie atop the conference standings with 11 days before the Trojans host the SEC tournament.
After further contemplation, Grunwald offered this observation.
?We were off for the night and for some, their mental game was getting in the way. Once you are in your head and bringing yourself down, it is hard to bounce back from that.
I knew it would come down to third doubles and it did. Fort Madison jumped ahead 5-2 and then the mistakes started to happen and they got down on themselves and couldn?t return from that.?
Although they couldn?t complete the comeback, Grunwald wasn?t upset with the effort.
?Overall the girls worked hard!?
The Fairfield jv escaped Fort Madison with a 3-2-1 win over the Bloodhounds
Ashley Pool and Abby Schaefer tied 7-7 against Zoe Ramatowski and Alyse Schmidt 7-7, Abbey Gridley and Destiny Gridley lost 6-2 to Lilli Scott and Lauren Bailey, Lauren Kraemer and Cahrina Chang won 6-2 over Deanna Warner and Abbee Kelly, Kelly Petersen and Claire Pettit lost 9-7 to Taylor Ann McGee and Aniah Ross, Emily Hostetter and Natalia Wagner won 6-3 over Kelsey Penrod and Shyanna Hoenig and Ashley Pool and Abby Schaefer beat Jamie Folks and Kirklynn Nafziger 6-1.