MHS netters suffer another shutout

Jenna Jaeckel has the lone victory for the Marshalltown girls’ tennis team this season. Ashley Beaty and Samantha Tocheri have both gotten to a third set in two other matches, but the Bobcats have dropped 32 of the 33 total sets during the first three meets of the season.

And that trend will certainly continue in future matches unless Marshalltown starts hitting return shots away from its opponents, according to coach Dennis Paul.

Hitting the ball down the middle and right back to their opposition was the story of Thursday’s 11-0 loss to Ankeny Centennial.

“We need to start placing the ball better. I am seeing a lot of them just returning the ball and not doing anything with it,” said Paul. “We need to make the other girl run and get her out of position. Everything we are hitting right now is going right back down the middle.

“The other team was not doing that to us. They were hitting cross-courts and making us run.”

Marshalltown (0-3) failed to take a set for the second straight match. The closest the Bobcats came to a win was Kathleen Ferrin’s 6-3, 6-4 loss to Marissa Heinzerling in No. 3 singles and Megan Riemenschneider and Chloe Kuehner’s 6-3, 6-4 defeat at No. 2 doubles.

Beaty also won three games in her first set against Kayla Peterson in No. 2 singles but lost the match when she fell 6-2 in the second set. Kuehner lost her No. 4 singles match in straight sets but took four games in set two after falling 6-2 in set one.

“We are trying to get it back in play but we aren’t intending to score with our shots,” said Paul. “It may be a confidence thing, too.

“I suggested to them that if you get down four or five games to try something different – go for the angles or go for the drop shots. But I couldn’t get the philosophy across. Part of that though is that Ankeny Centennial is a good team and they weren’t letting us do certain things.”

Kuehner and Riemenschneider were up 3-2 and 4-3 in the second set of their doubles match but dropped the final three games to lose in two frames.

Paul, however, still thinks that when they start learning how to play with each other, they will slip into the No. 1 doubles position.

“They are not playing 100 percent yet,” said Paul. “They have never played together until this year and Chloe never played tennis before this year.”

Notebook

The Bobcat junior varsity team lost 5-3 to Centennial on Thursday. Kaelin Lents and Brenda Livengood won two of their three matches on the night and the other win came from Victoria Sanchez and Olyvia Mathews. “Kaelin and Brenda had two good wins,” said MHS junior varsity coach Blake Cutright. “We have to keep working on our footwork and net play.” The Bobcats will next play Des Moines Hoover at home at 4 p.m. Tuesday. They travel to Southeast Polk on Thursday.