OTTUMWA — Kelsey Granneman has been a part of three senior nights over the years as a member of the Ottumwa girls tennis team.
Monday night was definately different for Granneman. Monday night was, after all, Granneman's senior night.
"It's kind of like you don't believe it," Granneman said. "All of sudden, you're up there getting the flower when I've watched all these girls go through and do that."
But there was no dreading her turn to be recognized as one of four players that would be playing their last regular-season match for the Ottumwa girls tennis team Monday in the Bulldogs' CIML Metro dual meet against Des Moines Hoover. In fact, Granneman was eager to be on the other side of the senior night celebrations.
"I've been looking forward to this for a long time. It's great," Granneman said.
So was the play of Granneman, Katie Zingg, Beth Overturf, Anna Graeff and the rest of the Ottumwa girls tennis players on Monday. The Bulldogs dominated the visiting Huskies of Hoover on the way to a fourth-straight Metro win, dropping just nine games in 11 matches on the way to a 11-0 senior night sweep at Dan Staggs Courts.
"It's always pretty bittersweet," Ottumwa girls tennis coach Emily Phommachack said. "It's neat to see the girls grow and improve over the years just to get more confident in their game, but I had one (junior) player tell me it was sad because one of the seniors is her doubles partner, and this was the last home meet for the two of them."
Granneman knew exactly what her head coach was talking about. Just before taking the court for the No. 1 doubles contest, the senior and junior partner Jennifer Klodt talked about the significance of the upcoming match.
"I kind of joked with Jennifer that this will be the last time we do a lot of these things together," Granneman said. "It makes it kind of special."
In their last regular-season match as the top doubles team for the Ottumwa girls, Granneman and Klodt made quick work of Dzana Memic and McGin Lay with a 6-0, 6-1 win. The victory brought with it the end to a nearly perfect senior night for Granneman, who swept Memic in the No. 1 singles match.
"Jennifer's a really good doubles partner to have," Granneman said. "It's been kind of emotional. You kind of remember everything you've done here. It's a nice end to the season."
"I just told the girls that, as a coach, it's really neat to watch them, watch them bond as a team and be successful throughout the years," Phommachack added.
Some bonds have developed a little quicker then others on this Ottumwa girls tennis team. A good example of that is the all-senior team of Katie Zingg and Beth Overturf.
Overturf, who was honored as one of the departing seniors, helped Zingg finish off the only perfect night for any Ottumwa tennis player in both singles and doubles play. After sweeping Gan Na in singles play, Zingg joined Overturf for another 6-0, 6-0 sweep of Na and May Joy in the No. 3 doubles match.
"This is my first year in tennis, and Katie's taught me a lot," Overturf said. "We work really well together. It's been a lot of fun this year."
"In our last meet, I only lost one game, so it was great to go out and have a perfect night on this night of all nights," Zingg added.
Ottumwa (5-2, 4-0) is back on the court today at Des Moines North before wrapping up Metro play at Roosevelt on Thursday. The Bulldogs will hit the road after getting sweeps from all four seniors in doubles play on Monday, including Anna Graeff, who joined junior teammate Abagail Messer to earn a 6-0, 6-0 win in the No. 5 doubles match.
"This is my last match on this court, so it was great to finish up this way," Graeff said. "I love tennis. It's really fun for me to play."
Ottumwa 11, Des Moines Hoover 0
No. 1 — Kelsey Granneman (Ottumwa) def. Dzana Memic (Des Moines Hoover) 6-0, 6-0. No. 2 — Jennifer Klodt (O) def. Emily Chappell (DMH) 6-1, 6-0. No. 3 — Hayli Beeson (O) def. Sue Wen (DMH) 6-0, 6-0. No. 4 — Sydney Grooms (O) def. McGin Lay (DMH) 6-0, 6-1. No. 5 — Jill Ardueser (O) def. Morgan Spring (DMH) 6-1, 6-1. No. 6 — Katie Zingg (O) def. Gan Na (DMH) 6-0, 6-0.
No. 1 — Granneman and Klodt (O) def. D. Memic and Lay (DMH) 6-0, 6-1. No. 2 — Beeson and Ardueser (O) def. Wen and Spring (DMH) 6-2, 6-1. No. 3 — Zingg and Beth Overturf (O) def. Na and May Joy (DMH) 6-0, 6-0. No. 4 — Grooms and Megan Black (O) def. Kristina Ryan and Nejla Memic (DMH) 6-0, 6-1. No. 5 — Anna Graeff and Abagail Messer (O) def. Olivian Jacobus and Rena Kuntson (DMH) 6-0, 6-0.