ELC tennis duo headed to state doubles
SPENCER – Estherville Lincoln Central will send representatives to the Class 1A State Tennis Tournament for the first time since 2011 as Kendall Evans and Josie Condon finished as runners-up at the regional tennis tournament on Thursday.
The ELC pair received the top doubles seed and won a tough battle in the semifinal to earn the trip to state.
However in the finals, they lost 6-4, 6-3, to Spirit Lake-Okoboji’s Alison Bueltel and Ashley Thorn.
ELC coach Larry Kirchner said Evans and Condon haven’t been able to beat the SL-O duo this season.
“They weren’t as focused after winning the previous match and qualifying for state,” said Kirchner. “They did come back from down 0-3 and got within 4-5 in the first set. The second set, they were tied 3-3 before losing 3-6.”
In the previous match, ELC’s pair faced SL-O’s other doubles team of Casie Barba and Lauren Goth and won 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
“They won the first set a little too easy and then let up a little in the second set,” said Kirchner. “They refocused to win the third set easily.”
As the top doubles seed, Evans and Condon had a first-round bye and then beat Emily VanOtterloo and Jessica Eisma 6-0, 6-1 in the second round.
Evans and Condon will travel to the 1A State Tournament in Iowa City, which starts June 1. The state tournament is a double elimination event, but a loss in the first round means competitors can only place as high as fifth. As a region runner-up, ELC’s pair will face the champions from another region in their first-round match at state.
Evans and Condon are the first state qualifiers since Erin Olson qualified in singles in 2011. Olson is ELC’s only two-time state qualifier as she qualified in 2010 with doubles partner Kaylene Vos. While Olson didn’t place in singles her senior season, she and Vos placed eighth in doubles in 2010.
Other regional matches
With Thursday’s regional delayed an hour a half by rain, ELC’s other players still had a shorter day, all losing their first match.
Samantha Tredway and Liz Herrick played in singles. Tredway lost 6-0, 6-1 to Cherokee’s Clare Conley. Herrick lost 6-2, 6-3 to SL-O’s Izzy Backhaus.
ELC’s other doubles team, Scarlett Rose and Brianna Fix, lost 6-1, 6-2 to Cherokee’s Jordyn Bingham and Courtney Aden.
“I’m pleased with how everyone played today,” said Kirchner. “The girls in singles competed hard and Liz played one of her better matches. Samantha played a girl that ended up finishing third.”
Graduation takes a toll on ELC’s roster as Scarlett Rose, Samantha Tredway and Liz Herrick, along with Alyssa Olson who played the No. 1 junior varsity slot and some varsity this season, are all seniors.
“This was an enjoyable year,” said Kirchner. “They all kept working hard throughout the season.”