SL-O girls tennis dominates Spencer

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Spirit Lake-Okoboji's Casie Barba charges the net in her singles win over Spencer's Madison Carpenter in Spencer on Monday.

After surrendering their first match losses of the season in a 6-3 win over Cherokee on Thursday, the Spirit Lake-Okoboji girls tennis team returned to their dominant ways Monday with a 9-0 road sweep of Lakes Conference rival Spencer.

SL-O coach Bob O'Hara said his athletes have been working on becoming more aggressive, and that adjustment has begun to pay dividends.

"I feel the girls are getting more comfortable incorporating the more aggressive style into their play," he said. "The hard part is adjusting to the different playing styles. When you add a new element to your game you can look great in practice, but it takes a while to bring it into competitive situations against opponents who have different spins and pace. As the season goes on, I think the girls will get more confident and the game will start slowing down for them."

Spirit Lake-Okoboji's Alison Bueltel sends a rocket across the net in her singles win over Spencer's Megan Huss.

In singles, Casie Barba defeated Madison Carpenter (10-0), Alison Bueltel defeated Megan Huss (10-1), Ashley Thorn defeated Ally Schlaeger (10-0), Abby Eckert defeated Grace Ahern (10-4), Anna Ascheman defaeted Autumn Rausch (10-6) and Lauren Goth defeated Morgan Fitzgerald (10-4).

In doubles, Bueltel and Thorn defeated Carpenter and Schlaeger (10-0), Barba and Goth defeated Huss and Ahren (10-0), and Eckert and Ascheman defeated Rausch and Riley Palmer (10-3).

SL-O returns to action Friday in a highly anticipated match with returning Lakes Conference tournament champion Le Mars. He says No. 1 singles player Casie Barba's matchup with Le Mars' returning state qualifier Elizabeth Ihrke will be one to watch.

"I知 really looking forward to Friday痴 match against Le Mars," O'Hara said. "It値l be kind of a barometer, and it値l show us what we need to work on. Le Mars lost against Cherokee, but I知 guessing that they have made some adjustments to shore things up since that meet. I知 especially looking forward to Casie Barba痴 match against state qualifier Elizabeth Ihrke. Casie has been playing dynamite tennis and and Ihrke is a very talented player. The thing about playing a great player like Ihrke is it will show us exactly what areas Casie needs to improve, so I feel win or lose that we値l get a lot out of the match."

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