By Murray Gleffe, Sports Correspondent
The Jaguar girls tennis team improved their record to 9-2 on the season winning three of four matches at the Green Bay Preble Invite. The Jaguars opened up with the Red Raiders of LaCrosse Central who came into the match with a 9-1 mark on the season. The Jaguars fought and scrapped, but in the end the Red Raiders pulled out a 4-3 thriller over the Jaguars. At number one singles, Marisa Marohl and Central’s Elise Howard engaged in an epic dual where many of the ralley’s went more than a minute. Marohl utilized her quickness and deep groundstrokes to outlast Howard 7-6, 6-4 in a two-hour marathon match.
The Jaguars then faced the Cardinals of Stevens Point Pacelli in the last match on Day 1. The Cardinals were coming off a Division 2 Team State appearance in 2016. The Jaguars came out on fire and won 6 of the 7 matches in straight sets to defeat Pacelli by a score of 7-0. Bitz Steinhoff (#2 Singles) used her savvy court awareness and chip forehand to defeat Vaughan of Pacelli 6-1, 6-3. Steinhoff had 11 drop shot winners in the match. At #3 Doubles, the Jaguar team of Addison Stromberg and Kennedy Conradt only lost one game. The duo got to the net early and often and stamped their victory in just 41 minutes. Conradt continually got the Cardinals off guard with her down the line patented forehand shot.
On Day 2, the Jaguars competition for match one were the Papermakers of Kimberly (at West DePere High School). Despite close scores in three of the seven matches, the Jaguars came out victorious 6-1. Jaguars #2 Singles Player Aubree Helstad provided the most excitement. Helstad fell behind 5-0 in the match to Taylor Henning. Even though Helstad didn’t capture the opening set, she did win two of the last three games to give an indication to her opponent that she was back in the match. Helstad turned the tide in set number two by winning 6-2. It set up the super tiebreaker to decide the outcome. Helstad used some tactical lobs along with her rifling forehand to pull the match out 10-8! The Jaguars top doubles team of Jayme Kiser and Peyton Wright took command of the first set after breaking Thompson and Foster of Kimberly in the 8th game. The Jaguars then held to capture the first set 6-3. Both teams went back and forth in the final set, before the Jaguars pushed over the finish line 7-5.
In the final match of the Preble Invite, the Phantoms of West Depere entertained the Jaguars. The Jaguars showed they were not going to lose four straight years to the Phantoms. The Jaguars captured six of the seven matches. #4 Singles player Emily Delaurelle moved to 11-0 on the season with a straight sets victory over Frank of West DePere. Not to be outdone was the #2 doubles team of Maddy Coopmans and Caylee Behnke who did not drop a game against their Phantom opponents. Coopmans and Behnke looked superb in every area (serve, overhead, volley) of the game. The Jaguar tennis team will be back in action August 29th when they host Pulaski.