MHS tennis girls dominate in Antigo, shine down-state

Proving beyond a doubt that their first meet success was no fluke, the Merrill tennis girls defeated several teams in two meets last week and suffered just one 4-3 loss.

Not only that, but the Bluejays crushed both local foes they faced in Thursday’s Antigo triangular by whopping 7-0 scores.

Merrill opened with a 7-0 triumph over D.C. Everest with five straight-sets wins and two that went to a third-set tiebreaker. The girls backed it up with a 7-0 win over Antigo that was so sound that the Red Robins managed just 10 total games of 52 played.

“The singles players had no trouble with the Everest line-up, and two doubles teams fought hard in 3rd set tie-breaks to come out with a win,” MHS coach Jennifer Heitz said. “Then we faced Antigo in the second match of the day and lost only 3 games total in singles, and only 7 games in doubles.”

Against Everest, Merrill’s wins came from: #1 singles Olivia Heitz (6-1, 6-4); #2 Elizabeth Smith (7-5, 6-2); #3 Hannah Ollhoff (6-2, 6-1); #4 Kristen Verdoorn (6-1, 6-0); #1 doubles Ellen Donner/Marissa Wilde (4-6, 6-3, 15-13); #2 Dani Teske/Aly Brandvold (6-4, 4-6, 10-6); #3 Kelsey Pintens/ Sarah Altman (6-1, 6-1).

Antigo fell to: Heitz (6-0, 6-1); Smith (6-1, 6-0); Ollhoff (6-0, 6-1); Verdoorn (6-0, 6-0); Donner/Wilde (6-3, 6-3); Teske/Brandvold (6-0, 6-0); Marie Renaud/ Marissa Bartz (6-0, 6-1).

Memorial labor

The Bluejays traveled to Saturday’s Madison Memorial Invitational and bounced back from a nailbiter 4-3 loss to Waunakee with a 5-2 triumph over Monona Grove and a 4-3 win over Sauk Prairie.

“We played 3 matches against Madison area schools, which provided some excellent competition for the girls,” Heitz said. “Waunakee had twin sisters at their #1 and #2 singles positions whose parents are both tennis professionals. Olivia and Liz were hitting the ball solid and deep, mixing in a variety of shots and both of them put forth a tremendous effort, having some excellent points and long rallies. They both lost close matches, but I was so pleased with their play and happy that they had the opportunity to play girls with so much experience and powerful style.

“We nearly pulled off a team win, losing 3-4. Ellen Donner and Marissa Wilde lost a close match to a state qualifying doubles team in three sets.”

Heitz (6-2, 6-4), Smith (6-2, 6-3) and Donner/Wilde (6-3, 3-6, 10-6) and Pintens/Altman (6-2, 6-4) took the losses.

Ollhoff (6-4, 4-6, 14-12), Verdoorn (6-4, 6-3) and Teske Brandvold (3-6, 7-6, 10-8) collected the wins.

Against Monona Grove, a singles sweep and a win at #1 doubles paced the 5-2 victory.

Winning scores included: Heitz (6-1, 6-1); Smith (6-0, 6-0); Ollhoff (6-0, 6-2); Verdoorn (6-2, 6-2); Wilde/ Donner (6-3, 7-6).

Brandvold/Teske (6-2, 6-3) and Bartz/Renaud (6-7, 7-5, 10-8) took close losses.

The Jays powered their 4-3 win over Sauk Prairie with another overwhelming singles sweep, including Heitz (6-2, 6-0); Smith (6-2, 6-1); Ollhoff (6-2, 6-2); and Verdoorn (6-2, 6-1).

Ollhoff and Verdoorn both received medals for their undefeated records on the day.

MHS doubles teams fell: Wilde/Donner (6-1, 7-6) Pintens/Altman (6-4, 6-1); and Katie Harvey/Sarah Hanson (6-4, 6-1).

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