Oshkosh West collected a nice 6-1 victory over Oshkosh North in Thursday’s final Fox Valley Association dual meet of the season.
It was the Spartans, though, that may have gotten the biggest win.
Meg Hartzell and Alyssa Schaefer knocked off Oshkosh West’s state place-winning tandem of Hannah Dexheimer and Bailey Sagen in straight sets at No. 1 doubles, handing the Wildcats’ duo a rare regular-season loss.
“We just went out there and gave it our all. We had nothing to lose,” Hartzell said of the 6-3, 6-3 win. “We just played our game.”
Hartzell and Schaefer opened the match by winning the first three games before Dexheimer and Sagen rallied to narrow the deficit to 4-3.
The Spartan duo, though, didn’t buckle and won the final two games to take the set.
“When we jumped out to the lead, you never know how the girls are going to take it either way,” North coach Paul Vanden Boogard said. “For them to maintain their composure and finish that set out was huge confidence booster for us going into the second set. It put West on their heels.”
Hartzell and Schaefer, even with one set under their belts, didn’t look too far ahead at that point.
“We didn’t want to get too pumped up because then we probably wouldn’t have done as well,” Hartzell said. “We just played it as the first set over and worked.”
The second set stayed close at the start but Hartzell and Schaefer were able to stay in front the entire way and took the final two games to close out the win.
“It’s a huge win,” Vanden Boogaard said. “Not only looking at their record-wise, but just as a confidence booster going into the tournament now.”
The rest of the matches belonged to West as the Wildcats finished off all of their victories in straight sets.
Leading the charge was No. 1 singles player Liz Edsell, who posted a 6-1, 6-2 win over Savannah Prehn.
“Savannah is a really good player and we play each other a lot,” Edsell said. “But I felt really in control today and I felt like I was playing my best tennis.”
The win likely sured up a high seed for Edsell heading into next week’s FVA tournament, but just as important is it gives her some momentum.
“It was a good last match to have before conference tournament,” Edsell said. “I’m just hoping to go into conference playing my best.”
Emily Edsell added a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles, while Abbey Vadnais had the lone sweep of the day, posting a 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 3 singles.
“Abbey is playing really well for us this year,” West coach Debbie Heinen said. “She is so consistent. She knows how to wear down her opponents well, while being smart and putting the ball away when she needs to. She’s just mentally tough and can figure out what she needs to do to win matches.”
Haley Asuma completed the singles sweep at the No. 4 flight for West, while Katie Buege and Erin Pyle, along with Danielle Hawi and Alli Wolff posted doubles wins for the Wildcats.
Heinen was pleased to see the way that the West wins came in straight sets as her players didn’t allow the Spartans to fight their way back into matches.
“When you get up, you want to keep playing at that high level and not let the opponent back in,” Heinen said. I was happy we we were able to finish them out and not let (North) get any momentum back in their favor.”
Despite the team loss, Vanden Boogaard was pleased with the play of the Spartans.
“Everyone played well. It’s always a tough match playing against West,” VandenBoogaard said. “Looking at the scores they don’t really reflect how the match went. I was very pleased with how we played.”
Yet, it was the Wildcats that came away with the win.
“Yeah, it’s always nice to beat North. They are obviously our rivals,” Liz Edsell said. “Even if we can’t pull out all of the matches, it’s nice to have a good team win. That’s the most improtant thing.”
Singles: No. 1 — Liz Edsell (OW) def. Savannah Prehn, 6-1, 6-2. No. 2 — Emily Edsell (OW) def. Lesley Kutnink, 6-1, 6-2. No. 3 — Abbey Vadnais (OW) def. Casey Dunbar, 6-0, 6-0. No. 4 — Haley Asuma (OW) def. Morgan Moxon, 6-1, 6-4.
Doubles: No. 1 — Meg Hartzell/Alyssa Schaefer (ON) def. Hannah Dexheimer/Bailey Sagen, 6-3, 6-3. No. 2 — Katie Buege/Erin Pyle (OW) def. Alyssa Hardel/Samantha Barker, 7-5, 6-2. No. 3 — Danielle Hawi/Alli Wolff (OW) def. Maddie Dumke/Sydney Hirschberg, 6-2, 6-3.