Tennis team looks strong in opener

The New Prague Trojan girls tennis team got its season off to a good start Tuesday, Aug. 20, finishing second at the Mankato East Invitational.

            The Trojans finished just three points behind host Mankato East. Coach Kyle Zellner said that full team scores were not available after the meet.

            “We were very impressed with how the girls played Tuesday,” Zellner said. “The Mankato Tournament has always been our first match of the season, and those can sometimes be a little intimidating for the girls.  Overall, our girls worked hard through the heat while finishing up their five matches. Today was a true test to see how much perseverance they had and they did great.”

            The Trojans had four of their flights medal, finishing 5-0 on the day. That included Emma Zvanovec and Julianna Ryburn at No. 2 varsity doubles, Olivia Rezac and Maddie Aase at No. 2 JV doubles, Haylee Prochaska and Katie Hendricks at No. 3 JV doubles, and Kaitlin Bruder at No. 3 JV singles.

            As for the varsity lineup, four of the Trojans’ seven entries had winning records on the day.

            At No. 1 singles, Deven Fennern went 2-3. “She played a couple really tough opponents and saw the level of play that she's been used to in the past,” Zellner said.

            Jirina Flicek went 4-1 at No. 2 singles, in a three-way tie for the best record, but lost in a tie-breaker to an Austin player.

            “She played smart tennis and showed her consistency and patience throughout the day,” Zellner said.

            Annika DuMoulin went 3-2 on the day at No. 3 singles. “She did a great job of holding her own for it being her first varsity match,” the coach said.

            At No. 4 singles, Kendra Kajer went 1-4. “This was also her first varsity action,” Zellner noted. “She got a good idea of what varsity competition will be like.”

            In doubles, Sarah Goblirsch and Justice Kos went 4-1 at No. 1 doubles. “They are continuing to look good together.  This was their first varsity match and did a great job,” Zellner said.

            Zvanovec and Ryburn went 5-0 on the day and medaled at No. 2 doubles.

            Zellner noted that the duo worked well together and their doubles movement was great on the court.

            Julia Bauer and Julia Bartusek went 2-3 on the day at No. 3 doubles. “This was also their first go at varsity.  They did great together and seemed to compliment each others doubles play quite nicely,” Zellner said.

            The Trojans were scheduled to host Bloomington Kennedy at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21. They will travel to Mound-Westonka for a match at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, and will host the New Prague Invitational at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. The Trojans host Le Sueur-Henderson at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26.