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Willard tennis starts season with Clyde Invite title

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Aug 12, 2018 at 11:12 AM

WILLARD — It was no secret within girls tennis circles — after a big year in 2017, the Willard girls tennis team was poised for a big encore this fall.

The Crimson Flashes certainly delivered on Saturday, winning the Bob Wilson Memorial tournament by taking four titles across the five positions in a field that included host Clyde and Sylvania Southview in the six-team field.

Willard finished with 48 points, followed by Southview (34), Clyde (30), Bellevue (14) and Huron (14), and Tiffin Calvert (6).

“It was a great day for us at what is always a very strong tournament,” Willard coach Josh Bauerle said. “To be in the championship match at all five spots and win four titles is a testament to the work these girls put in all summer.

“ It takes a combination of tennis skill and mental toughness to play up to three matches on a hot day like that, and I’m so proud of how our girls showed up,” he added.

At second singles, Carlee Gibson won three matches for Willard, including a straight sets win over Clyde’s Madi Bannister (6-1 6-3) in the finals. She beat Huron’s Riley Fry (6-0, 6-1) and Bellevue’s Rayven Whyde (6-4, 6-4) en route to the title.

“Carlee played amazing all day,” Bauerle said. “She had the perfect mindset of keeping the ball in play with high energy.”

Addy Paxton was next for the Flashes at third singles, as she beat Clyde’s Emma Strudthoff for the title with an impressive 6-1, 6-0 win. She beat Bellevue’s Ella Little and Huron’s Hannah Brunow in a pair of sweeps (6-0, 6-0) to reach the final.

“Addy picked right up where she left off last year and just dominated each match she was in,” Bauerle said of Paxton.

Addie Slone and Jo Brubaker also posted a pair of straight set wins for the title at first doubles. After a first-round bye, the duo topped Clyde’s Siera Hisey and Mary Wilkerson (6-2, 7-5), then for the title beat Southview’s Megan Peng and Katherine Barricklow (6-3, 6-0).

“Addy and Jo got off to a slow start after sitting for a long time, but when they finally put it together they showed what they are capable of,” Bauerle said. “Great for Addy to get that first match back after last season’s injury.”

At second doubles, Kennedy Daub and Tori Barnett were also never pushed to a third set in three wins. The pair opened with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Clyde’s Megan Barrett and Hali Hagemeyer, then beat Bellevue’s Maddie Corrado and Kaitlyn Cullen (6-0, 6-0) to reach the finals.

Daub and Barnett then posted a 6-1, 6-0 win over Southview’s Sophie Rees and Meg Galambos to cap the win.

“Tori and Kennedy were in control of all three of their matches from beginning to end,” Bauerle said. “They got their first serves in all day which led to a lot of easy put away.”

At first singles, Emma Moll reached the finals for the Flashes, where she fell to Southview’s Annsley Mann (6-4, 6-1). She opened with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Calvert’s Devyn Warnement, then topped Bellevue’s Leighann Motley with a sweep (6-0, 6-0) to reach the final.

“Emma had two great matches to win the first two rounds before running into a monster from Southview,” Bauerle said. “Emma battled in that match, even taking a 4-3 first set lead. That will be good experience for her moving forward.”

Norwalk 5, Shelby 0

SHELBY — The Truckers opened the season with a clean sweep over host Shelby in a non-league match on Saturday, winning each match in straight sets.

At first singles, Megan Berry topped Jensen Feussner (6–2, 6-4), while Gabby Horowitz topped Leah Karnes (6-2, 6-2). At third singles, Lauren Metcalf beat Madison Sharrock (6-0, 6-1).

In doubles action, the No. 1 team of Jordan Gran and Mara Berry bested Jarica Awwiler and Olivia Fordyce in a sweep (6-0, 6-0). Second doubles saw Sela Berry and Alexa Moore beat Anna Vogt and Grace Mahek (6-0. 6-2).

"Great first day,” Norwalk coach Chris Higgins said. “Not only did the varsity win 5-0, the JV players managed to win each match down the lineup card. Now that we have the season opener behind us, we have one week to get better before league matches begin.

“All three of the singles players managed to keep the ball in well very well today,” he added. “First doubles did a great job of setting the pace on the court today — and congratulations to Alexa Moore on her first career varsity win as her and Sela won handily."

Norwalk entertains Port Clinton on Monday, then visits Amherst on Tuesday before hosting Edison on Wednesday.

GIRLS GOLF

Bellevue wins Oak Harbor Invitational

OAK HARBOR — The Lady Red girls golf team shot a 374 to win the nine-team Oak Harbor Invitational on Saturday at the Oak Harbor Golf Club.

For Bellevue, Lara Spurlock was medalist with a 45-45—90. Tristian Rupp was next with a 46-46—92, followed by Isabel Sanchez (47-48—95), Riley Hager (51-46—97), Cass Biedrzycki (52-46—98) and Keyara Schneider (47-60—107).

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