Cardinals corral Mavericks, 5-2

FAIRMONT – Oh, the difference a day makes.

Fairmont mentor Kathy Krezel tweaked her starting lineup a bit during Tuesday’s dual tennis meet and exited the Cardinal Courts with a 5-2 nonconference victory over Martin County West.

Briana Gratz and Andrea Carstensen, who combined skills at No. 3 doubles to generate a 3-all team score with United South Central on Monday, delivered the hometown Cardinals’ initial team tally during a second searing 90-degree clash in as many days.

Gratz and Carstensen posted back-to-back 6-0 set victories over the Mavericks’ Brooke Forstrom and Madeline Ebeling to stake the Cardinals to an early 1-0 edge.

“Briana and Andrea did a fantastic job of talking to each other on the court today,” Krezel said in reference to her senior tandem. “They communicated well and everything just clicked for them.”

Unfortunately for Aubrey Green, the Fairmont senior standout encountered Stephanie Zerres, who also was clicking on all cylinders en route to back-to-back 6-1 set victories at No. 1 singles.

“Everything I hit at her (Zerres), she returned. It didn’t matter where I placed it, she got to it,” Green said in reference to her opponent – a hard-hitting 5-foot-10 foreign exchange student from Germany.

“It can get this hot in Germany, so it’s not anything I’m not used to playing in,” said Zerres, who plays club tennis in her home town of Frankfurt.

Fairmont’s Nos. 2-4 singles players then cooled off Martin County West’s bid for a team triumph, netting straight-set decisions to ice the red-and-white’s winning ways.

Sophie Shelgren, who played No. 1 doubles a day earlier, made a smooth transition to No. 4 singles by losing only one game en route to earning the Cardinals’ second team point. Shelgren served a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Sophie Bareiss, another foreign exchange student from Germany.

Allison Moeller, who exited the Cardinal Courts in Monday’s twilight, coasted to a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Tori Russenberger at No. 3 singles to inch Fairmont to a 3-1 team lead.

“After yesterday’s marathon match, we (coaching staff) had her change her strategy today and it paid off,” Krezel said in reference to Moeller’s “quick exit.”

Missy Viesselman then assembled a solid opening-set comeback to fuel an eventual 7-5 triumph over Shawna Dressen at second singles. The hard-hitting Dressen held a one-game edge to 5-4 in the first segment before Viesselman’s steady groundstrokes turned the tide in her direction.

Viesselman then reeled off nine consecutive game wins to close out her 6-0 second-set win to claim Fairmont’s decisive fourth team point.

“After a bit of a slow start, Missy really did a nice job of switching up her game plan during the second set and made a strong comeback,” said Krezel.

The second doubles tandem of Bailey Ebeling and Hailey Holtz then battled back to generate the Mavericks’ second team tally of the dual.

Ellie Tonder and Jill Paris netted a 6-4 first-set win for the Cardinals before Ebeling and Holtz bounced back for a 6-0 second-set victory.

Ebeling and Holtz then fended off Tonder and Paris, 10-6, in a super tiebreaker that substituted as the third set.

Abby Fitzgerald and Shantel Quist then held off Martin County West’s Alissa Russenberger and Ily Schlenk at first doubles, 6-3, 7-5, to cap Fairmont’s winning team performance.

Fairmont (3-1) plays host to Worthington at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Cardinal Courts in another nonconference dual meet.

Martin County West (0-1) plays host to Blue Earth Area at 4:30 p.m. today in Sherburn.


Fairmont 5, Martin County West 2

Singles: Stephanie Zerres (MCW) d. Aubrey Green, 6-1, 6-1. Missy Viesselman (F) d. Shawna Dressen, 7-5, 6-0. Allison Moeller (F) d. Tori Russenberger, 6-0, 6-2. Sophie Shelgren (F) d. Sophie Bareiss, 6-1, 6-0.

Doubles: Abby Fitzgerald-Shantel Quist (F) d. Alissa Russenberger-Ily Schlenk, 6-3, 7-5. Bailey Ebeling-Hailey Holtz (MCW) d. Ellie Tonder-Jill Paris, 4-6, 6-0, (10-6). Briana Gratz-Andrea Carstensen (F) d. Brooke Forstrom-Madeline Ebeling, 6-0, 6-0.