Nike Park the site for the North Central vs Carroll Tennis match. The Cardinals red hot to start the season, coming off wins against Wartburg and Concordia. Pioneers entering 2-1.
Let’s start with one-doubles. Alaina Kanthaphixay and Hannah Houghland pairing up to take on Grace Krueger and Ashley LaBelle and here’s a nice long rally. And Hougland splits the Pios for the winner.
Hougland serving moments later and she brings the heat with the fastball, Carroll can’t handle it and the sophomore picks up an ace.
Later in the match, Kanthaphixay sees what Houghlands up too, and follows suit with an ace of her own.
Moments later, Kanthaphixay does it AGAIN! Cardinals crush the Pioneers, 8-2 to take a 1-0 lead.
Next to two doubles, Linsy Jante and Katie McGraw teaming up to take on Carolyn Merkatoris and Maya Gaedtke for Carroll.
Let’s start with a rally that has all four players getting a piece of the action.
McGraw with the winner to take an early lead.
Little later on, if you like front-court play, well, this is for you
Jante snipes the back line as NCC holds a commanding lead midway through.
Near the end of the match and the Cardinals in complete control. North Central puts it away, winning 8-4. So NCC starting the day winning the top two doubles pairings.
So we go to the third and final doubles match. Ellie Gallagher and Yaitova Spiegel lacing up for North Central against Rachel Papp and Francesca Grimes. And it’s Spiegel with the smash for the point but the Pios pick up the win, 8-4.
Moving to singles – Katie McGraw competing as the number 3 singles player against Carolyn Merkatoris, who sends it long.
Battling in the first set, McGraw has the edge and is looking to keep it. And that helps her take a 6-4 win.
Second set and its all McGraw, who uses a bevy of shots to win in straight sets. After going 16-11 last season, she’s already 3-0.
To Kanthaphixay at number two singles, locking horns with Ashley LaBelle. And Kanthaphixay is returning everything in sight… which leads LaBelle into an error.
Later on, Kanthaphixay has shed the warm up jacket but is still on a hot streak, taking the first set 6-2.
To the second set, which is a dog fight… and Kanthaphixay scraps her way to a 7-5 win. A second team All-CCIW member last year, she’s also 3-0.
Hannah Houghland is up at number one singles and guess what, she’s also aiming to go 3-0. She draws Grace Krueger. After a very long rally, Houghland’s spin forces an errant shot.
First set a difficult one to gain an edge in, but Houghland battling her way to a 7-5 win.
Second set goes more smoothly for the junior – a 6-3 final. Cardinals win 7-2, moving to 3-0 as a team. A great start for head coach Ryan Jump’s squad.