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Cardinal girls net LHC tournament title

Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 11:33 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 12:10 p.m. CDT
(Ben Schuff/Daily News)
Pella Christian senior Claire VanWeelden follows through on a shot in a singles match during the Little Hawkeye conference meet at Grinnell High School on Tuesday. VanWeelden claimed the No. 2 singles division championship.
(Courtesy photo)
Newton’s Cardinal girls captured the 2014 Little Hawkeye Conference tennis tournament championship Tuesday at Grinnell. Members of the team are (left to right) head coach Erick Zehr, Maria Valbuena, McKenna Heisdorffer, Jennifer Ventling, Holly Vander Pol, Kayla Corso and Monica Corso.

GRINNELL — No time to rest on their laurels. Newton Cardinal girls remained unbeaten as a team in Little Hawkeye Conference tennis play.

The Cardinals wrapped up their second consecutive undefeated LHC regular season last Thursday. They had to wait a day longer than planned to capture the 2014 Little Hawkeye Conference tournament title. The tournament was postponed from Monday.

Newton scored 40 points, placing second in both the No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles competition and taking third in the No. 2 doubles and No. 2 singles. The Cardinals won Tuesday’s LHC tennis tournament with host Grinnell placing second with 34 points.

Pella Christian’s Eagles finished in a tie with Oskaloosa for third with 28 points apiece. Norwalk was fifth with 26 points followed by Pella with 23 poitns and Knoxville with 19 points.

Maria Valbuena defeated Jamie Stewart of Oskaloosa in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0, in the No. 1 singles semifinals. Valbuena suffered her first loss of the season in the championship match. Lily Hamilton of Grinnell beat Valbuena, 6-1, 6-4 in the title match.

Pella Christian’s Andrea DeBruin opened No. 1 singles play with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Pella’s Anna Aaarsma. DeBruin dropped a 6-0, 6-0 decision to Hamilton in the semifianls. DeBruin took third in the division on a 6-1, 6-4 win over Oskaloosa’s Stewart.

Newton’s No. 1 doubles team of Jennifer Ventling and Holly Vander Pol pushed into the championship match with two third-set tiebreaker wins. They beat Oskaloosa’s Kailey Scharff and Bethany Rowley, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 1-0 (5), then downed Pella’s Sam Wassenaar and Bri Buzick, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (5).

Ventling and Vander Pol were on their way to drawing even with Norwalk’s Sam and Sarah Roemer in the No. 1 doubles championship match, but ended up losing in two sets. Roemer and Roemer won the first set 6-3. Ventling and Vander Pol were up 5-0 in the second set. Roemer and Roemer bounced back to win the set and the match, 6-3, 7-5.

In No. 1 doubles, Pella Christian’s Addison VanWeelden and Rachel Twedt dropped a 6-2, 7-6 (2) decision to Knoxville’s Taylor Carter and Paige Spowart in the first round of the tournament. VanWeelden and Twedt moved into the fifth-place match, losing 6-1, 6-2 to Oskaloosa’s Scharff and Rowley, 6-1, 6-2.

McKenna Heisdorffer, Newton, got past Elly Hofmaier of Norwalk, 6-2, 6-3, in the first round of the No. 2 singles division. Heisdorff came up short against top-seeded Claire VanWeelden of Pella Christian, 6-4, 6-3, in the semifinals.

Claire VanWeelden won the No. 2 singles championship, 6-4, 6-2, over Oskaloosa’s Abbie Meyer. Heisdorffer claimed third place on a 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (8) decision over Maddie Krumm of Grinnell.

Monica Corso and Kayla Corso played No. 2 doubles for the Cardinals. After a first-round bye, they lost to Grinnell’s Jackie Johnson and Anneliese Wiltfang, 6-4, 7-6(4) in the semifinals. Pella Christian’s Haylie VanMaanen and Andrea Carballo lost to Pella’s Molly Kalkwarf and Alli Dingeman, 6-1, 7-6(1) in the first round.

Corso and Corso decked Norwalk’s Liz Nimo and Allison Stanley, 6-3, 6-0, to take third in No. 2 doubles. Oskaloosa’s Morgan Holle and Asli Bayram beat Van Maanen and Carballo, 6-3, 6-4, in the fifth-place match.