In its second round of regional action, the Newton girls tennis team was unable to overcome the loss of two of its top players this season, as it fell to the host team Johnston.
The Cardinals were unable to bring along top players Krystal Mapes and Katelin Klyn due to their dance recital, so it was an uphill battle from the beginning. Despite some close sets, there was just not much of a competition as Johnston won the first five singles matches to close out Newton’s season
Katelyn Camp lost to Johnston’s Liera Bender 3-6, 0-6. Jennifer Ventling fell to Payton Kintz 0-6, 2-6. Holly Vander Pol fell to Eisha Nathwani 0-6, 0-6. Caitlin Combs fell 2-6, 3-6. Monica Corso lost to Elena Nathwani 0-6, 1-6. McKenna Heisdorffer’s match was called due to the other five matches all being won by Johnston, but she was trailing 4-6, 4-3 at the time it was called off.
“I’m extremely proud of the girls that played today,” coach Erick Zehr said. “The odds were long against them, but you wouldn’t be able to discern that from their demeanor. They went out and played hard, and played well, and played long rallies and tight games with their opponents. No one was totally outmatched, all the matches were at least competitive. Both Monica and McKenna stepped in and played very, very well having not played in weeks, and against possibly the best players they’ve played all year”
Even with the bitter ending to the season, the Cardinals improved by leaps and bounds over last year. The team won the conference tournament as well as its regular season title, and the doubles team of Vander Pol and Ventling will be competing at the state meet on May 30.