Mexico tennis wins back-to-back at home

By Dave Faries, Editor
Posted 9/15/21

Katie Gooch said she was not in peak form on Thursday when the Bulldogs faced Kirksville at Fairgrounds Park Netplex on Thursday. Yet she played well enough in the two slot to edge the Tigers’ …

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Mexico tennis wins back-to-back at home

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Katie Gooch said she was not in peak form on Thursday when the Bulldogs faced Kirksville at Fairgrounds Park Netplex on Thursday. Yet she played well enough in the two slot to edge the Tigers’ Maren Elmore 10-8.

In doubles, Gooch and Winona Whelan pulled away from Madisynn Crawford and Anna Eitel, 10-5.

The match wins helped the Bulldogs knock off Kirksville 8-1 in a contest that was tougher than the outcome would indicate. The team victory wrapped up three consecutive days of tennis.

For Gooch and Whelan it was a long day of gritty play. In singles Whelan fended off her opponent 10-8, as well.

“We both agreed we didn’t play our best,” Gooch observed. “We let go of the little things.”

Still, the pair accounted for half of Mexico’s team points. Estrella Lopez and Jocelyn Garcia each cruised in singles, picking up 10-2 wins. They claimed their doubles match 10-3.

The Bulldogs number one, Shelby Kennemore, dominated her rounds. Teamed with Lily Yager in doubles she only dropped one set. The singles round against Kirksville’s Gracie Riemenschneider was a 10-0 shutout.

But Kennemore found room for improvement. “I hit a couple too deep,” she pointed out.

“Last year she took some beatings at the number one spot, but this year she has found her stride,” said Bulldogs head coach Kim Costley.

Yager battled back and forth against Crawford in singles. Over much of the contest, neither could stretch a two set advantage. In the end, however, Yager fell 10-8.

Bulldogs rout Battle

Mexico handily dispatched undermanned Battle on Tuesday at Fairgrounds Park Netplex. Officially the meeting ended as a 9-0 forfeit, as the visitors could only present five players. However, the Bulldogs swept the two doubles and five singles matches played.

“I thought our team would be good, but not this good,” observed Shelby Kennemore, who topped Lilly Bennett 8-1 in singles and captured a doubles match with playing partner Lily Yager.

The truncated doubles round made it appear as if the day would be a fight. Jocelyn Garcia credited aggressive net play for her 8-1 win with teammate Estrella Lopez.

“I think we are getting to where we want to be,” Lopez added.

Meanwhile Kennemore and Lily Yager were holding the Spartans’ Lilly Bennett and Hope Wolfmeier at arm’s length. They had to use all their talents, however, to claim an 8-4 win.

“Shelby and I feed off each other,” Yager explained. “Shelby and I were playing strong.”

Singles lacked the drama of Kennemore and Yager’s battle. The Bulldogs only dropped two sets in five matches and one exhibition.

Kennemore overwhelmed Bennett 8-1. Katie Gooch blanked Wolfmeier 8-0. Yager was equally stingy in shutting out Miriam Tramel.

Lopez also cruised 8-0. Winona Whelan was on the wrong end just once, winning 8-1 over Kerynna Jarman.

Garcia swept Jarman 6-0, getting some singles time in an exhibition match.

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