By ANDY HEINTZ Courier sports writer
---- — OTTUMWA — Jill Ardueser ripped a forehand shot down the line. Jennifer Klodt finished a volley with a slam at the net. Sydney Grooms showed off a potpourri of shots during a volley before doubles partner Caroline Carlson finished the volley with a strong backhand. Anna Graeff scored with a cross-court forehand.
During doubles’ play, it didn’t matter what match the crowd was consuming, the story being written on the tennis court was pretty much the same: The Bulldogs were imposing their will on their overmatched Des Moines East opponents. And, when the matches were over, the final 9-0 score accurately communicated Ottumwa’s superiority. To their credit, the Scarlets gamely put forth their best effort, but they were simply no match for the Bulldogs.
“I told them before we got out on the court that this is an opportunity for you guys to play to your potential,” Ottumwa girls tennis coach Emily Phommachack said. “When you play against lower teams, sometimes you go down to their level, and I really wanted the girls to focus on playing up to their level today.”
And the Bulldogs did exactly that. In singles play, they didn’t lose a set. In fact, the girls only surrendered a combined five games to the Scarlets. Jennifer Klodt, however, was especially dominant, shutting out Nickie Nguyen 6-0, 6-0 in No. 2 singles. The rest of the Bulldogs fared almost as well as Klodt with none of them dropping more than a game to their opponents.
Doubles play was a similar story, as three Bulldogs teams recorded shut-outs. The No. 1 doubles team of Kelsey Granneman and Klodt blanked Alicia Keontavong and Ashley Weiman (6-0, 6-0), and the duo of Beth Overturf and Katie Zingg shut out their opponents 6-0, 6-0 in No. 3 doubles.
“I think we played our angles really well today, using the alleys especially,” Zingg said.
In addition, Graeff and Abagail Messer trounced their opponents 6-0, 6-0.
“Getting better at communication,” Messer said when asked what had been particularly effective for her team in the doubles match.
Phommachack was pleased with the way her team approached doubles’ action.
“This is a good opportunity to work on strategy,” she said, “especially in doubles play. Look at the alleys, communicate a lot more, work on your shots. I thought they did well with that, and they were pretty aggressive.”
Phommachack singled out Hayli Beeson, who was victorious in No. 3 singles and, along with partner Ardueser, in No. 2 doubles, for praise.
“Hayli Beeson did a nice job keeping the ball in play and being consistent,” the coach said, “and she also went to the net and was pretty aggressive.”
Phommachack complimented Grooms for her play as well.
The Bulldogs play Tuesday at Des Moines North.
Ottumwa 9, Des Moines East 0
No. 1 — Kelsey Granneman (0) def. Alicia Keontavong 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 — Jennifer Klodt (O) def. Nickie Nguyen 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 —Hayli Beeson def. Ashley Weinman 6-1, 6-0; No. 4 — Sydney Grooms (O) def. Jordan Entinger 6-0, 6-1; No. 5 — Jill Ardueser def. Prisma Ruacho 6-0, 6-1. No. 6 — Katie Zingg (O) def. Houa Vang 6-1, 6-0.
No. 1 — Granneman/Klodt def. Keontavong/Weinman 6-0, 6-0. No. 2 —Beeson/Ardueser def. Nguyen/Ruacho 6-2, 6-1; No. 3 — Zingg/Beth Overturf def. Hiatt/Entinger 6-0, 6-0; No. 4 —Grooms/Caroline Carlson def. Tiengkham/Vang 6-1, 6-0; No. 5 —Anna Graeff/Abagail Messer def. Khammany/Randolph 6-0, 6-0 .