NEWTON — Newton and Boone battled right to the end in girls’ tennis competition Thursday on Newton’s Aurora Heights tennis courts. Boone claimed a 6-5 win over the Cardinals.
Cardinal head coach Erick Zehr said Newton dropped last year’s dual with Boone by the same score.
“It’s frustrating to be so close to beating them and come up short, but I was really happy with the effort the girls put forth tonight. We still have a lot of work to do, especially in doubles, but we are keeping it in perspective and looking forward to our next opponent,” Zehr said.
Maria Valbuena and Monica Corso each won their singles matches for Newton then combined to win a three-set match at No. 2 doubles. Valbuena claimed a 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) No. 2 singles match over Boone’s Leeds. Corso, playing No. 4 singles for the Cardinals, defeated Joey Cornelis, 6-1, 6-2.
“Leeds played a very frustrating style, where she would just lob the ball back into play. Leeds was struggling with her control on her regular shots, so she just resorted to lobbing the ball on every shot, essentially. Maria was able to stay composed, even when she was down 5-6 in the second set, with Leeds serving 40-15, she fought off three straight points to save the set and force the tiebreaker,” Zehr said.
In the No. 2 doubles match, Zehr said Valbuena and Corso lost a close first set, but once they became more aggressive, they kept Boone’s Emma Rose and Breanna Sternberg on their heels. The Cardinal pair won 5-7, 7-5, 10-1.
Newton’s No.1 singles player, Jennifer Ventling used a balanced game of aggressive play and consistency to beat Boone’s Rose, 6-1, 6-1. Holly VanderPol dropped a tough No.3 singles match to Boone’s Jenny Behn, 7-6 (6-0), 6-2. VanderPol had a 5-2 lead early and errors allowed Behn to take control of the match from there, Zehr said.
Ventling and VanderPol teamed up to down Behn and Leeds , 6-1, 6-4, in the No. 1 doubles match. Zehr said the two are developing consistency as a pair as they did a year ago for the Cardinals.
Newton’s McKenna Heisdorffer lost, 6-4, 6-4, to Boone’s Sterenberg at No. 5 singles, and Sierra Griffeth dropped a 6-2, 6-2 decision to Boone’s Carlie Romig at No. 6 singles.
Heisdorffer and Marissa Modlin played the No. 3 doubles match for Newton, losing 6-2, 6-3 to Boone’s Cornelius and Romig. Boone’s Bianca Fuentes and Bridgette Good defeated Newton’s Kayla Corso and Griffeth, 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4 doubles. Newton’s Halie Owens and Samantha Cooling lost 6-2, 6-1 to Sara Statz and Grier Aspengen of Boone at No. 5 doubles.