Fairmont tennis breezes by New Ulm, 6-1

BACKHAND WINNER — Fairmont’s Natalie Abel (left) hammers a two-handed backhand return for a winner as third doubles partner Libby Totzke looks on during a Big South Conference dual tennis meet with New Ulm on Thursday at the Cardinal Courts in Fairmont. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

FAIRMONT — Fairmont tennis co-captain Bergen Senf’s pre-meet speech in the Cardinals’ huddle proved both comedic and inspirational on Thursday at the Cardinal Courts.

Senf jokingly implied that she felt like a bacon bit due to the 82-degree temperature and humidity ‘roasting’ her. After numerous smiles and laughs were generated by the Cardinals’ No. 2 doubles player’s humorous hyperbole, Senf and her teammates proved all business in posting a 6-1 Big South Conference victory over the New Ulm Eagles.

Fairmont freshman Maggy Totzke displayed her tenacity by trailing her third singles match by an early 2-1 deficit before breaking early and often. Totzke pocketed five of the next six games to clinch her 6-3 first-set win over Abby Hietala before coasting to a 6-1 second-set victory.

Senf and No. 2 doubles partner Lauren Davis combined court skills to net a 6-3 opening-set triumph over New Ulm’s Abbey Frauenholtz and Carli Botten. Senf and Davis then heated up the strings on their rackets by hitting winner after winner to coast to a 6-0 second-set win to stake Fairmont to a 2-0 lead on the team ledger.

Second singles netter Sydney Hainy, who recorded a pivotal service break in Game 5 of the opening set, collected the Cardinals’ third team tally. Hainy netted a 6-2 first-set decision before replicating her performance in the second set en route to the win over Makiah Otto.

Natalie Abel and Libby Totzke, just one of Fairmont head coach Eric Johnson’s ‘tweaking’ of the starting varsity lineup, then teamed to clinch the decisive fourth team point at third doubles.

Abel and Libby Totzke held serve before breaking three consecutive times to roll to a 6-0 first-set victory over Bethany Janssen and Lydia King. Totzke and Abel then clinched the meet-winning point in claiming a 6-1 second-set win.

Freshman Briana Joseph, who switched from doubles to singles on Thursday, displayed her solo skills with a racket by breezing to a 6-0 opening-set decision over Hannah Blumhoefer at the No. 4 position in the lineup. Joseph then captured Point 5 by winning six of the seven second-set games for Fairmont.

The Cardinals’ first doubles combination of Brittany Bass and Lauren Green recorded early service breaks to glide to a 6-3 first-set win over the Eagles’ Kellyn Emerson and Malia Emerson. New Ulm’s sisterly duo, however, built a 3-2 second-set lead before Bass and Green answered with a clutch service break at 4-3. Green and Bass closed out Fairmont’s sixth team tally with a 6-4 second-set win.

“I thought we did a better job overall of maintaining our focus today, and not allowing a lost game or two to turn into more,” said Fairmont head coach Eric Johnson. “The girls stayed positive, and were able to close out their matches.”

Emma Maudal claimed New Ulm’s only point via a 6-2, 6-3 decision over freshman Claire Nemmers at the No. 1 position in the singles bracket.

Nemmers, who was forced to injury default due to arch problems in her foot on Tuesday, experienced some lingering effects, but battled the hard-hitting Maudal to the final point.

Fairmont (5-6) plays host to Worthington at 4:30 p.m. today in a rescheduled dual meet at the Cardinal Courts. New Ulm (2-5) plays host to Belle Plaine on Monday.

Varsity Results

Fairmont 6, New Ulm 1

Singles: Emma Maudal (NU) def. Claire Nemmers, 6-2, 6-3. Sydney Hainy (F) def. Makiah Otto, 6-2, 6-2. Maggy Totzke (F) def. Abby Hietala, 6-3, 6-1. Briana Joseph (F) def. Hannah Blumhoefer, 6-0, 6-3.

Doubles: Brittany Bass-Lauren Green (F) def. Kellyn Emerson-Malia Emerson, 6-3, 6-4. Bergen Senf-Lauren Davis (F) def. Abbey Frauenholtz-Carli Botten, 6-3, 6-0. Libby Totzke-Natalie Abel (F) def. Bethany Janssen-Lydia King, 6-0, 6-1.

Fairmont captured 12 of its 14 junior varsity matches against New Ulm on Thursday at the Cardinal Courts.

Shannon Green and Ellie Hernes each produced victories in singles action for the Cardinals.

Lydia Thatcher and Emily Hagen, Madison Northwick and Izzy Munsch, Madi Hagen and Anika Haugen, Paige Hainy and Rachel O’Connor, Annika Wheeler and Brooke Van Gelderen, Macy Militello and Kaycie Brookens, Johanna Petschke and Abi Peyman, Paige Linse and Lilly Laven, Aili Lockwood and Thalia Fernandez, and Ellie Plumhoff and Jaydan Moses each produced doubles wins for Fairmont.