Cardinal girls lose heartbreaker, 6-5, at Pella
On Tuesday the Newton girls tennis team ended up on the wrong end of a down-to-the-wire meet for the second time in 15 days, losing 6-5 at Pella. This time was a little more painful than when it happened in the season-opener, however, as the Little Dutch are a Little Hawkeye Conference rival.
The meet was essentially as close as possible. Tied 3-3 after singles and 5-5 after four completed doubles matches, the meet was decided in the last doubles match, which went the way of Pella in a third-set tiebreaker.
That made it all the tougher for the Cardinals to swallow.
“This is the type of loss that will hurt for a long time,” Newton coach Erick Zehr said. “Being this close and coming up just short ... it’s really hard not to second guess decisions you make as a coach. Pella was talented, but we let this one slip away.”
The teams split the singles matches 3-3, with Newton picking up victories from junior Katelyn Camp at No. 1 (6-1, 6-3), sophomore Holly Vander Pol at No.4 (6-4, 6-4) and sophomore Jennifer Ventling at No. 6 (6-4, 7-6 (8-6)). It was Camp’s first win at No. 1.
“Holly played very well, and Jen (Ventling) toughed out a really gutsy and impressive win against a girl who played her weaknesses well,” Zehr said.
In doubles, Newton dropped the first completed one — No. 4 — early, but Kora Scotton/Shayla Hawkins-Cones came right back to win 7-5, 6-4 and tie the overall score at 4-4 in what Zehr called “their best match of the season to date.” The Cards fell at No. 2 while Camp/Klyn cruised 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1 to knot things up at 5-5.
That forced a winner-take-all match at No.3 doubles, where the Newton team of Caitlin Combs/Ventling won the last game of the first set to force a tiebreaker which they pulled out 7-4. After winning the first set, however, the match slowly slipped away and Pella went on to win the second 6-2 and the third set tiebreaker 10-2.
While the meet’s outcome wasn’t decided until that final doubles match was over, Zehr emphasized that each match was equally significant.
“Jen and Caitlin lost the final match, but they didn’t lose the meet for us,” he said. “We win and lose as a team, and there were any number of other matches where we could have found that sixth win. This helps us see how important all 11 matches are.
“They are both strong players, and while this loss hurts right now, they will be stronger for it, and hopefully they will be able to pull it out in the future if they find themselves in a similar situation.”
Newton’s next meet is at home on Thursday against Norwalk.
Pella 6, Newton 5
Katelyn Camp won 6-1, 6-3
Katelin Klyn lost 3-6, 4-6
Krystal Mapes lost 2-6, 2-6
Holly Vander Pol won 6-4, 6-4
Cailtin Combs lost 0-6, 2-6
Jennifer Ventling won 6-4, 7-6 (8-6)
Camp/Klyn won 6-3, 6-3
Mapes/Vander Pol lost 2-6, 2-6
Combs/Ventling lost 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 0(2)
Katie Hinshaw/Feicia Fischer lost 0-6, 0-6
Kora Scotton/Shayla Hawkins-Cones won 7-5, 6-4