NEWTON — Playing well in adverse conditions, Newton’s girls won a home Little Hawkeye Conference tennis dual with Norwalk Thursday. The teams were able to play 10 of 11 matches scheduled with Newton winning 8-2.
“Having already rescheduled several meets, we were desperate to get this one played. Despite the cold, wind and even occasional rain, we completed all but one match at Maytag Park,” said Erick Zehr, Newton head coach.
“We only had the courts to play on, so the meet developed slowly. The girls did an amazing job being focused and ready, despite the long down time between matches.”
The meet was moved to the courts at Maytag Park because the court surface at Aurora Heights wasn’t playable Thursday.
Holly Vander Pol captured the first match of the meet for Newton, winning 9-1 in a third-set tiebreaker. Vander Pol won the first set 6-1 then lost 6-0 to Liz Nimmo of Norwalk in the No. 3 singles match.
The No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches were battles. Newton’s Maria Valbuena won 7-6 (2), 6-3 over Sam Roemer at No. 1 singles. Sarah Roemer defeated Newton’s Jennifer Ventling 7-6 (4), 6-4 at No. 2.
Newton’s No. 4 singles player, Monica Corso, downed Allison Stanley, 6-4, 6-0. At No. 5 singles, McKenna Heisdorffer gave the Cardinals a 6-2, 6-1 win over Norwalk’s Taya Downs. Kayla Corso made it 5-1 for Newton at the end of singles play with a come-from- behind 5-7, 6-3, (9-1) at No. 6 singles.
“Kayla played her best match of the year. Her opponent was one of their better players, and proved a very, very tough out. Kayla did a great job developing her strategy as the match progressed, and by the end she was in complete control of the tiebreaker. She really stepped up in a big way. She and McKenna were also cruising in their doubles match before having to stop because the lights turned off,” Zehr said.
In doubles action, Newton won at No. 2 with Valbuena and M. Corso beating Nimmo and Stanley, 6-0, 6-2; at No. 4 doubles with Marisa Modlin and Sierra Griffith defeating Kim Suckow and Baylie Martin, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 9-1 (1); and No. 5 doubles with halie Owens and Megan Pressgrove beating Kenedi Walker and Katie Olson, 6-3, 6-2.
At No. 1 doubles, Norwalk’s Roemer and Roemer beat Vander Pol and Ventling, 6-2, 6-3. Newton’s Heisdorffer and K. Corso were up 6-1, 2-1 over Downs and Hofmaier in the No. 3 doubles match when the lights turned off.
“I was very proud of the effort the girls put forth tonight,” Zehr said. “The conditions were less than ideal, and several of the girls did not get off to good starts, but everyone stepped up and gave it everything they had. Norwalk is a good team — one of the best in our conference, and our girls rose to the challenge in a big way.”
Newton hosts Oskaloosa today for a reschedule LHC meet from April 24.
Newton’s junior varsity defeated Norwalk, 7-3 in matches on Thursday.
Newton assistant coach Seth Banwell said the Cardinal junior varsity players have made vast improvements on their ground strokes and serves. Each doubles team demonstrated great communication on the court and remained focused to crush their opponents, Banwell added.