Playing under the hot sun on the newly resurfaced tennis courts, Iola High’s Fillies made it sizzle on the blue courts Thursday.
Hosting their only home tennis meet of the season, the Fillies claimed second place in the quadrangular. Independence was first followed by Iola then Parsons and Columbus.
The Fillies won five out of 12 matches they played in.
Iola’s No. 2 singles player Abbey St. Clair, a junior, and No. 2 doubles team of senior Hannah Barclay and freshman Shelby Reno had two victories each. The other win came in No. 1 doubles by junior Shyanne Hendry and sophomore Megan Smith.
“I can’t say enough good things about these girls following Thursday’s matches,” said Jennifer Bycroft, Iola girls’ tennis coach.
“With only two varsity competitions under our belts, of course, we have some basics to work on and refine. But overall, with 12 of the 16 players this year being new to the sport, I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve seen so far.”
Players from the four teams had to deal with the extreme heat of Thursday afternoon. The matches began at 3 p.m. on the IHS tennis courts.
Seven Iola players competed in the meet Thursday. Freshman Emmalee Seabolt played as Columbus High’s No. 2 singles player. Bycroft said Seabolt was a fill-in because Columbus could only bring five players Thursday.
So in the No. 2 singles competition, St. Clair defeated Seabolt (Columbus) 6-1. St. Clair also nailed down a 7-5 win over Parsons’ Bailey Foster.
St. Clair lost 6-0 to Kalie Matthew of Independence. Seabolt, playing for Columbus, had a 6-1 win over Foster of Parsons.
Iola’s No. 1 singles player was junior Katana Smith. She dropped a 6-3 decision to Ashley Simpson of Columbus. Smith lost 6-0 to Taylor Mason of Independence and lost 6-2 to Kinzie Rea of Parsons.
Barclay and Reno, neither of whom played tennis before this season, netted two wins at No. 2 doubles for Iola. After dropping a 6-0 decision to Independence’s Jenna Gilstrap and KasiDee Cox, the Iola duo took on Columbus.
Reno and Barclay defeated Columbus’ Alyssa Goodwin and Kelci Atkinson 6-3. Barclay made several winning shots at the net for the team.
The pair kept the momentum going, winning 6-1 over Parsons’ Nakita Gandhi and Samantha Beach.
Hendry and Megan Smith came up with a 6-1 victory over Columbus’ Kristina Davolt and Stacy Derfelt. Iola’s No. 1 doubles team lost 6-0 to Caringtyn Julian and Sara Derrick of Independence.
The final match of the day for Hendry and M. Smith was a close one. They dropped a 7-5 decision to Tiara Smith and Sam Fletcher of Parsons.
“The doubles teams won some awesome points at the net. Hannah, my only senior, and Shelby played so well together,” Bycroft said.
“I’ve definitely seen some improvements by all of our girls in our practices within the past week.”
Iola goes to Independence next Thursday taking on Fort Scott, Pittsburg, Chanute and Independence in varsity action.
The Fillies’ junior varsity is at Parsons Tuesday in a meet hosted by Labette County.
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