The Ottumwa girls tennis team suffered a 7-4 loss to Dowling Catholic in its home-opening meet at Dan Staggs Court Thursday.
The highlights of the meet for the Bulldogs were provided by Jennifer Klodt and Jill Ardueser, who won both their singles and doubles matches.
Klodt knocked off Megan Diliberti 6-1, 3-6, 10-4 in a hard-fought match in No. 2 singles. She capped off the match with a slick lob that found the right corner of her opponent’s court.
“I just tried my best and tried to keep positive,” Klodt said.
“That was huge for her,” Ottumwa coach Emily Phommachack said. “She has definitely improved physically and mentally over the year.”
In addition, Klodt teamed with Kelsey Granneman to defeat Zoe Anderson and Diliberti 6-0, 2-6, 11-9 in No. 1 doubles action.
“I think we did a lot of strategy and figured out what worked in the first set and what didn’t work in the second set and tried to play to our strengths and their weaknesses,” Granneman said. “They seemed to not like the net so we tried to force them up there as much as we could.”
After she suffered a lopsided defeat in the first set, Ardueser rallied to defeat Sarah Massop 1-6, 6-0, 10-4.
“That’s a lot of mental toughness,” Phommachack said.
Ardueser and Megan Black also teamed up to claim a narrow victory over Clair Harmeyer and Cati Kalinoski (1-6, 6-1, 10-4 tiebreaker) in No. 4 doubles.
Phommachack was happy with some aspects of her team’s performance, noting that much of her team is still pretty green.
“For the first meet, I didn’t think we did too bad as a team,” she said. “Out of my top six, I had three that had never played singles before, so they really stepped up. We almost split 3-3 in our singles, which is really good.”
Ottumwa competes at the Waterloo Columbus Invitational Saturday.
Dowling Catholic 7, Ottumwa 4
No. 1 — Katherine Wanek (DC) def. Kelsey Granneman 6-2, 7-5; No. 2 — Jennifer Klodt (O) def. Megan Diliberti 6-1, 3-6, 10-5; No. 3 — Calli Anderson (DC) def. Hayli Beeson 6-1, 7-5; No. 4 — Halie Dickinson (DC) def. Sydney Grooms (O) 6-1, 6-2; No. 5 — Jill Ardueser (O) def. Sarah Massop 1-6, 6-0, 10-4; No. 6 — Zoe Anderson (DC) def. Katie Zingg 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 4-10.
No. 1 — Granneman-Klodt (O) def. Anderson-Diliberti 6-0, 2-6, 11-9 TB; No. 2 — Wanek-Dickinson (DC) def. Beeson-Grooms 6-2, 6-1; No. 3 — Henderson-Massop def. Beth Overturf-Zingg 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 TB; No. 4 — Ardueser-Megan Black def. Harmeyer-Cati Kalinoski 1-6, 6-1, 10-4TB; No. 5 — Rachel Munro-Kristin Sutor (DC) def. Abagail Messer-Anna Graeff 6-3, 6-3.