Fillie tennis mixes it up at Pittsburg



September 25, 2017 - 12:00 AM

PITTSBURG — The Iola Fillie tennis team made the trip to Pittsburg on Thursday to take on Bishop Miege, Columbus, Fort Scott and Pittsburg at Pittsburg State.
Iola head coach Jenn Bycroft mixed up her line-up for the first time this season, leading to new faces in all four teams.
Allie Utley moved up from her number two singles spot to take the number one singles spot. Utley split her matches, going 2-2.
“This is the first time I’ve played Allie at the No. 1 spot,” Bycroft said. “I had some challenge matches going on at practice and Allie beat a couple of the girls so I moved her to number one. Finishing 2-2 in your first number one singles matches is pretty good.”
Utley fell to Pitt’s Nicole Konopelko (8-2) and Olivia Aractingi of Bishop Miege (8-1) before getting wins over Columbus’ Jaden Spainhower (8-1) and Fort Scott’s Madi Larson (8-2).
Senior Erin Klubek returned to singles play from her normal doubles spot after playing a match or two last season.
Klubek also split her matches falling 8-2 to Rylee Johnson of Pitt and 8-1 to Grace Lang of Bishop Miege before closing out with wins over Columbus’ Avery Campbell (8-1) and Fort Scott’s Shaylee Terry (8-7)
“(Erin) played really well and had a lot of control with her shots,” Bycroft said. “It’s tough moving from doubles, where you have a partner, a backup, and someone to communicate with. She worked hard, and it paid off.” 
Klubek’s normal doubles partner Macayla Bycroft paired up with normal number two singles player Gabby Richards as they too split their matches.
They fell 8-1 to Pitt and 8-3 to Bishop Miege before getting wins vers Columbus (8-1) and Fort Scott (8-6)
“(Bycroft and Richards) worked really well together and communicated well,” Bycroft said. “ Both the Pitt and Bishop Miege teams were really strong, so those were tough matches.  I was thrilled to get the win over Fort Scott to finish the night.  Both were strong at the net, and Macayla had a nice drop shot to win match point.”
Former number one singles player Jennifer Tidd paired up number two doubles player Carlie Payne who along with Bycroft was the only player to compete on the team that they had been on last season.
The team went 1-3 falling to Pitt (8-5) and Bishop Miege (8-1) to start off before getting their first win of the night versus Columbus in a 8-0 sweep. Payne and Tidd closed out the evening falling 8-2 to Fort Scott. 
“Jennifer has played #1 Singles all season until these matches,” Bycroft said. “I think she felt more comfortable in this spot, having a partner to play with.  Both girls had some nice shots.  I was glad to see them get a win, and hopefully continue to see improvement together.”
The varsity will close out the regular season tomorrow versus Coffeyville.
The junior varsity also competed three day prior at Parsons. Similar to varsity, Bycroft moved some people around to get a taste at some new positions.
Annika Hobbs got her first crack at the number one singles spot and went 1-3 in her debut.
She fell to Chrisanna Dejesus of Parsosn (6-2) and Mikayla Kwek of Chanute (6-1) before getting her first win in a 6-5 thriller over Bernadette Bradbury of Labette.
“This was Annika’s first time playing singles, and her first season out for tennis as a sophomore,” Bycroft said. “We need to continue working on moving back to the baseline and not getting caught in the middle of the court, but by her 3rd match of the night, she was improving and playing better. I was glad she got a win to boost the confidence.”
Kassy and Sidney Shelby went 1-3 in number one doubles play, opening up with a 6-1 win over Parsons before falling in two close 6-3 matches to Chanute and Independence.
“Just like the week before, the Shelby sisters played super tonight,” Bycroft said. “Though they only got one win, they never gave up and always work hard with every point.  The last match against Indy was a really competitive one to watch.”
Finally the new number two doubles team of Jessica Tidd and Cassidy Lowell lost both of their matches that they played but did earn a default 6-0 win over Parsons who did not have a number two doubles team.
They fell 6-0 to Chanute and Independence.
“This is the first time pairing Jessica and Cassidy together and it always takes a little time for new players to learn how to communicate with each other on the court and figure out where each other is, but we’re getting there,” Bycroft said. “Hopefully they can get a win at their next match.”
The junior varsity have their final meet today  in Chanute.

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