By SCOTT COTTOS
It would be challenging enough for Fostoria High School’s girls tennis team to put a limited amount of experience up against stiff competition in its own invitational.
Health problems increased the degree of difficulty on Saturday for the Redmen, who finished at the bottom of the six-team field at the FHS courts.
Oregon Clay won three of the four flights on its way to first place with 36 points. Anthony Wayne, with one flight title, was runner-up with 30 points, followed by Holland Springfield (26), Tiffin Calvert (14), Ottawa-Glandorf (11) and Fostoria (7).
Three lineup regulars were sidelined for the Redmen, with Jennaleigh McCumber injured, and Rubi Dessausure and Larai Williams ill.
Fostoria was unable to win a match on the day. The Redmen did not field a singles player, and a first-round bye helped them gain fourth place at No. 2 doubles. The Nos. 1 and 3 doubles teams were sixth.
“Really, it wasn’t bad, considering I didn’t have anybody playing today who has played together all year long,” FHS coach Yvette Anez said. “We threw everybody together at the last minute with some injuries and some sickness. But, maybe I found out I’ve got some new doubles teams today. We’ll see what happens in the future.”
Anez said she liked the effort she saw from her players.
“We fought through some stuff because even the kids who were here weren’t feeling very well,” she said. “But they came out and they played hard, so I was happy with their effort.”
Fostoria’s No. 2 doubles team of Mya Weimerskirch and Abrianna Swartz gained a first-round bye before falling 6-0, 6-0 to Springfield’s Debbie Tan and Jessica Tubbs and 8-5 to Anthony Wayne’s Alex Buraszeski and Tori Wagner.
At No. 1 doubles, Fostoria’s Kyhra Baeder and Naija Miller lost 6-2, 6-1 to Clay’s Tori Gallaher and Kelsey Meldrum and 8-5 to Calvert’s Elena Kapelka and Bria Coleman.
The Redmen’s No. 3 pairing of Imani Velazquez and Tonique Jones lost 6-1, 6-0 to Anthony Wayne and 8-2 to Ottawa-Glandorf’s Alysha Verhoff and Natasha Valdez.
“I was happy with the fact that we came out and played hard,” Anez said. “We did what we could do. Overall, I was happy with our effort. Obviously, the outcome wasn’t what we wanted, but it comes with experience. I had a lot of young kids out there. We’ll get better. We will get better.”
Clay’s champions were Mady Arquette at singles, Alyson Naugle and Olivia Tilton at No. 2 doubles, and Kenzie Arquette and Jessica Krieger at No. 3 doubles.
Springfield’s Kayla Helminiak and Kyleigh Henthorn took the No. 1 doubles title.
Ottawa-Glandorf received the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award.
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