FAIRMONT - Sophie Shelgren and Shantel Quist generated a combined total of 29 victories for Fairmont from the doubles courts last fall.
The Cardinals' tennis captains displayed their versatility on Thursday by posting their initial singles victories of 2014 during a home-opening dual meet with Maple River.
Despite straight-set victories from Shelgren and Quist at Nos. 1 and 4 singles, respectively, the visiting Eagles turned the tables on the Cardinals by sweeping the doubles bracket to pace a 5-2 non-league triumph in Fairmont.
FOREHAND RETURN — Fairmont fourth singles player Shantel Quist connects on a forehand return during nonconference dual-meet tennis action against Maple River on Thursday at Cardinal Courts in Fairmont. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)
FOREHAND RETURN — Fairmont first singles netter Sophie Shelgren steps into a forehand return during non-league tennis action Thursday in Fairmont. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)
"The girls had to adjust to a different pace of tennis today compared to our season-opener at Mound (Westonka) on Tuesday," said Fairmont mentor Kathy Krezel. "Now we need to improve our focus during the match, and do a better job of keeping the ball in the court."
Shelgren had no trouble achieving that aspect of the game as the hard-hitting senior drilled numerous winners to reel off nine consecutive victories after dropping Game 1 of her No. 1 singles match with Megan Langworthy.
Shelgren utilized a solid forehand attack and service game to engineer a 6-1 opening-set victory before displaying her stellar backhand return to help pace a 6-2 second-set win.
Quist displayed her mettle by battling back from an early 3-2 first-set deficit to Rachael Rigdon during their No. 4 singles clash.
Quist earned a pivotal service break in Game 8 before closing out the 6-4 comeback decision with a precision passing shot.
The Fairmont captain then coasted to a 6-1 second-set win over Rigdon to swing the dual meet's final point in the home team's direction.
Emily Spear recorded the Eagles' initial team point by collecting a 6-0, 6-3 decision over Ellie Tonder during second singles action.
Maple River then grabbed a quick 3-0 lead on the team ledger when its No. 2 doubles tandem of Mariah Proehl and Sarah Stromer exited the Cardinal Courts simultaneously with the Eagles' No. 3 doubles combo of Hannah Evenson and Katelyn Langworthy.
Proehl and Stromer fended off a second-set comeback by Anna Hernes and Leah Fortune to claim a 6-2, 6-4 decision, while Evenson and Langworthy teamed to generate back-to-back 6-2 set wins over Hayley Fogelson and Kaitlyn Cihoski.
Shelgren's straight-set singles triumph interrupted the Eagles' string of wins before No. 3 singles netter Hannah Proehl captured the fourth team tally by outslugging converted doubles player Abby Fitzgerald, 6-4, 6-2.
Stephanie Beto and Vanessa Barkosky completed Maple River's doubles-bracket sweep by notching back-to-back 6-2 set wins over Madisyn Plumhoff - who celebrated her 16th birthday on Thursday - and Lauren Carlson at the No. 1 position in the lineup.
Fairmont (0-2) competes in the Le Sueur-Henderson Triangular at 9 a.m. today in Le Sueur. Maple River (1-0) plays host to Tri-City United on Monday in Mapleton.
Maple River 5, Fairmont 2
Singles: Sophie Shelgren (F) d. Megan Langworthy, 6-1, 6-2. Emily Spear (MR) d. Ellie Tonder, 6-0, 6-3. Hannah Proehl (MR) d. Abby Fitzgerald, 6-4, 6-2. Shantel Quist (F) d. Rachael Rigdon, 6-4, 6-1.
Doubles: Stephanie Beto-Vanessa Barkosky (MR) d. Madisyn Plumhoff-Lauren Carlson, 6-2, 6-2. Mariah Proehl-Sarah Stromer (MR) d. Anna Hernes-Leah Fortune, 6-2, 6-4. Hannah Evenson-Katelyn Langworthy (MR) d. Hayley Fogelson-Kaitlyn Cihoski, 6-2, 6-2.
Maple River 7, Fairmont 0
Doubles: Gwen Ward-Kelsey Sohre (MR) d. Sydney Hainy-Brittany Bass, 4-1, 4-1. Ward-Sohre (MR) d. Morgan Cihoski-Holly Petrowiak, 4-0, 4-0. Becca Rigdon-Sam Kunkel (MR) d. Marina Speckman-Emily O'Connor, 4-1, 4-1. Rigdon-Kunkel (MR) d. Chloe Diekmann-Lydia Thatcher, 4-1, 4-3. Taylor Carlson-Anna Schubert (MR) d. Natalie Abel-Madison Hagen, 4-2, 4-3. Ashley Hawker-Lauren Marble (MR) d. Madison Northwick-Isabella Munsch, 4-2, 4-1. Carlson-Schubert (MR) d. Lauren Scott-Sydney Hainy, 4-0, 4-1.