Freshmen are making a huge impact this week at the Missouri state girls tennis tournament.
And Notre Dame de Sion’s doubles team of Janey King and Margo Gerke is prominent among the first-year impact players.
The Storm freshmen won their first two rounds Friday at the Cooper Tennis Complex and assured themselves of state medals.
“I was just excited to have the chance to play at the state tournament,” King said. “And, of course, we were hoping to win some matches. I was a little nervous before our first match, and it took a while to get into a groove. But we got more comfortable and better as the day went on.”
King and Gerke survived the first round with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Leigh Schmidt and Meghan Zengel of Kickapoo. They followed with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Eden Hoogveld and Paige Smith of Jefferson City in the quarterfinals.
“Our big goal this weekend was to be able to play on Saturday, and we were able to accomplish that,” Gerke said. “We were shaky at the start but we brought it together in the second match and are excited to be able to play (Saturday).”
The freshmen will have a huge challenge on Saturday in the semifinals as they take on Kirkwood’s Sarah Stuhlmann and Bridget Mayfield. Stuhlmann and Mayfield won a straight-set quarterfinal match against Phoebe Boeschen and Sophi Farid of Rock Bridge.
The other Class 2 doubles semifinal will be an all-area matchup. Lee’s Summit North’s Logan Morrissey and Camryn Parnell will take on Liberty’s Cassidy Paul and Gretchen Ohlhausen.
Morrissey and Parnell followed up their impressive showing Thursday in leading the Broncos to their first team championship with a pair of straight set wins Friday. Paul and Ohlhausen also won both of their matches in straight sets.
Lee’s Summit senior Tess Herder is the lone area player remaining in the semifinals in Class 2 singles. Herder threw a double bagel in the first round against Parkview’s Abbey Belote, who entered the match with a 28-1 record. Herder would continue her string of 6-0 set wins to three as she defeated Eva Smejkalova of Fort Zumwalt South 6-0, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
Herder will play Ladue’s Cam Newton in one Class 2 semifinal. Defending champion Risa Takenaka of Francis Howell North will match up with freshman Caroline Pozo of St. Joseph’s Academy in the other semfinal.
Barstow’s doubles team of Alena Frye and Maddy Tadros look determined and primed to follow up the team championship with a doubles title. Frye and Tadros did not lose a game in their two matches Friday. They will be a heavy favorite in Saturday’s semifinal match against Payton Beeler and Idalia Aguilar of Marshall, who won a pair of three-set matches Friday.
Pembroke Hill’s Cindy Wang and Ellison Rooney also advanced to the Class 1 doubles semifinals and will come home with state medals. They lost only four total games in a pair of wins but will be underdogs in Saturday’s semifinal against Connor Cassity and Cameron Freeman of Clayton.
The semifinals in both singles and doubles in Class 1 and Class 2 are scheduled for 9 a.m. with the finals for both classes at 1 p.m. Saturday at Cooper.