Pella Christian tops Cardinal girls tennis, 8-3
In last year’s Little Hawkeye Conference championship season, the Newton girls tennis team knocked off Pella Christian at home to really get the ball rolling.
The Cardinals couldn’t capture that same magic in Pella on Tuesday, falling 8-3 to the LHC-favorite Eagles.
Newton and PC were knotted at three matches apiece after singles play, but the Eagles swept all five doubles matches to win going away. The Cardinals got wins from No. 3, 5 and 6 singles in junior Krystal Mapes, sophomore Caitlin Combs and sophomore Jennifer Ventling.
At No.1 singles, junior Katelyn Camp got ahead of PC’s Aubrey Else 5-2 in the first set, but lost back-to-back service games and trailed 6-5. She was able to force a first-set tiebreaker and was ahead 6-4, but lost four straight points to lose the first set, and ultimately the match by scores of 6-7 (6-8), 1-6 as Else heated up in the second set.
Mapes lost a close first set at No. 3 singles, but battled through long points to pull out a tough second set. She then fought through a leg cramp to win a third set tiebreak and her match by 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 1(5).
Combs’ match at No. 5 was close throughout, especially in the third set, in which she pulled out a 13-11 win. Newton coach Erick Zehr said it was her best match of the season. Ventling fought through back pains to get her win at No. 6.
Things weren’t as close in doubles play, as the Eagles won all five matches in straight sets. The No. 3 team of Combs/Ventling came closest to a victory, dropping the first set in a tiebreaker before falling 6-3 in the second.
“Last year, Pella Christian was our landmark win — the win where our miracle season became reality. I would say this was what I would call a landmark loss,” Zehr said. “PC had lost two matches all season, and we were able to get three off of them.
“I think our team has matured a great deal in the last week, and our mental toughness has really come around. I fully expect our best meets to be ahead. Both Knoxville on Thursday and Norwalk on Friday could show how far we have come this season.”
Pella Christian 8, Newton 3
1s - Katelyn Camp (N) lost to Aubrey Else 6-7 (6-8), 1-6
2s - Katelin Klyn(N) lost to Megan VanKooten 0-6, 1-6
3s - Krystal Mapes (N) beat Kayla DeBruin 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 1(5)
4s - Holly Vander Pol (N) lost to Paige Engbers 3-6, 2-6
5s - Caitlin Combs (N) beat Jora Vander Hart 6-4, 4-6, 1(11)
6s - Jennifer Ventling (N) beat Jaclyn Kuyers 7-5, 6-1
1d - Camp/Klyn (N) lost to VanKooten/Engbers 2-6, 1-6
2d - Mapes/Vander Pol (N) lost to Else/DeBruin 1-6, 1-6
3d - Combs/Ventling (N) lost to Vander Hart/Anna Vander Molen 6-7 (2-7), 3-6
4d - Shayla Hawkins-Cones/Kora Scotton (N) lost to Kuyers/Addison Van Weelden 1-6, 4-6
5d - Katie Hinshaw/Felicia Fischer (N) lost to Julie Jansen/Valerie Jochens 3-6, 4-6