The Iola sports season officially began on Wednesday with a junior varsity tennis meet in Fort Scott.
The Fillies came into the meet disadvantaged from rain over the past several weeks severely limiting practice time.
In my 13 years of coaching, I dont ever remember this many practices canceled due to rain this early in the season, head coach Jenn Bycroft said. So because of that, weve only had two full practices leading up to our first junior varsity match.
Despite the limited prep time, each athlete walked away with one win.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with the girls last night, Bycroft said. I know the girls were a little nervous yesterday but they all played well considering they didnt have much time to practice. With some of the girls, were working on being confident and vocal when playing and calling out their scores and if the ball is in or out. Some of the girls are more timid and quiet, so getting them to do that is challenging, but well get there.
Junior Annika Hobbs went 1-2 in the number one singles spot. Hobbs played singles last season and Bycroft was impressed with her movement around the court during her three matches.
Hobbs beat Emma Daly of Fort Scott 6-2 before falling 6-3 to Lilly Cawyer of Pittsburg and 6-0 to Bronwyn OMalley of Independence.
In number one doubles, junior Allie Fager and sophomore Sidney Shelby went 1-2, beating Fort Scott 6-1 before falling 6-3 to Pittsburg and 6-1 to Independence.
Shelby is returning for her second year of tennis while Fager, a junior, is on the team for her first season.
I put these two together because I knew they would communicate well on the court, Bycroft said. Thats so important when you play doubles. You have to be aware of where each other is, call the shots and do your best to cover your area of the court the best you can while helping your partner out. They did that extremely well.
Sophomore Jessica Tidd and freshman Miah Shelby teamed up for number two doubles. They won their first match 6-1 versus Fort Scott before falling 6-4 to Pittsburg and 6-0 versus Independence.
I think it really boosted their confidence a little to win their first match together, Bycroft said. Ive already seen some improvements in Jessica from last season so thats encouraging to see.
The Iola varsity team will open their season today at Chanute.
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