FARMINGTON – Emmaline Waddell was not feeling her best on Tuesday, especially during her second match in two hours. And the 90-degree heat at Engler Park offered no relief.
The Farmington senior battled a nagging cough, sat down on the court for maximum rest during change-overs and crouched down to regroup during a crucial juncture of her No. 2 singles contest.
After opponent Nicole Martin turned aside two match points, Waddell eventually converted her fifth chance for a clinching break and toughed out an 8-6 triumph.
Fellow seniors Olivia Busse and Meghan Roberts closed out their own victories minutes later, and the Knights prevailed 6-3 in the girls tennis season opener.
Abigail Doty gave Farmington (1-0, 1-0) the first of four singles wins, taking an 8-4 decision over Hanna Politte at the No. 4 ranking.
The action proved to be highly competitive, even though the longtime MAAA rivals combined to field just three players with previous varsity experience.
North County (0-1, 0-1) received identical 8-3 singles wins from newcomer Juli Farr at No. 1 and Lauren Politte at No. 3 to even the overall team competition at three apiece.
Waddell generated momentum by landing a lob near the back line, and tied Martin at 2-2 with a drop volley after approaching the net.
Martin stayed on serve at 6-6 with an excellent backhand winner down the line after Waddell charged, and temporarily averted defeat with a sharp cross-court return after trailing 15-40.
Waddell saw two more break points slip away after pausing to catch her breath, but reached a difficult Martin serve before forcing her to chase a deep lob that could not be returned.
Busse sealed the team triumph for Farmington in 8-1 fashion against Madelyn Carducci, and Roberts rallied past Katelynne Jones 9-7 at the No 6 level.
Jones grabbed an early lead in her first high school solo effort, and overcame three unforced errors on returns during an extended game to remain on serve at 7-6.
But Roberts tracked down multiple threatening balls near the sideline to earn the pivotal service break, and punctuated her win as a Jones return drifted just beyond the baseline.
Farr jumped ahead of Susan Rippee 3-0 on consecutive breaks, and never faded to gain a measure of revenge after narrowly dropping the earlier No. 1 doubles clash alongside Martin.
The first chance for either side to break during that match occurred on the final point. A powerful shot by Rippee enabled Waddell to pounce on a soft return near the net for an 8-6 win.
Busse and Roberts paired for a second Farmington victory in doubles action, 8-3 against the combo of Jones and Emily Pruneau.
Lauren Politte was a two-time winner for North County after joining Hanna Politte to dispatch Doty and partner Karmin Duncan 8-3.
1. Juli Farr (NC) def. Susan Rippee, 8-3
2. Emmaline Waddell (FA) def. Nicole Martin, 8-6
3. Lauren Politte (NC) def. Karmin Duncan, 8-3
4. Abigail Doty (FA) def. Hanna Politte, 8-4
5. Olivia Busse (FA) def. Madelyn Carducci, 8-1
6. Meghan Roberts (FA) def. Katelynne Jones, 9-7
1. Rippee/Waddell (FA) def. Farr/Martin, 8-6
2. L Politte/H Politte (NC) def. Duncan/Doty, 8-3
3. Busse/Roberts (FA) def. Jones/Emily Pruneau, 8-3
Potosi 9, Fredericktown 0
POTOSI – Michelle Whitaker edged Liz Hinkle 8-6 in the varsity debut at No. 1 singles for both players, and Potosi began the girls tennis season with a clean 9-0 sweep of Fredericktown.
The Lady Trojans (1-0, 1-0), who return five players from last year’s varsity lineup, dropped only six games during the doubles session against their conference rivals.
Taylor Campbell prevailed 8-1 in the most decisive singles outcome while Emily Missey, Molly Hamby and Sarah Hornsey also rolled to victory.
Kennedy Coleman, the lone newcomer to the Potosi top six, posted an 8-2 result against Alyssa Pierson.
Skyler Hennen and Sophie Rehkop also competed at higher rankings for Fredericktown (0-1, 0-1).
1. Michelle Whitaker (P) def. Liz Hinkle, 8-6
2. Emily Missey (P) def. Skyler Hennen, 8-3
3. Taylor Campbell (P) def. Sophie Rehkop, 8-1
4. Sarah Hornsey (P) def. Maddie McClellan, 8-4
5. Kennedy Coleman (P) def. Alyssa Pierson, 8-2
6. Molly Hamby (P) def. Bailey White, 8-2
1. Whitaker/Hornsey (P) def. Hinkle/Hennan, 8-1
2. Missey/Campbell (P) def. Rehkop/McClellan, 8-2
3. Coleman/Hamby (P) def. Pierson/White, 8-3
Central 2, Windsor 0
PARK HILLS – Junior Kaley Kimball knocked down eight kills as the Central volleyball team debuted with a promising 25-18, 25-22 home victory over Windsor on Tuesday.
Addisyn Casey distributed the ball for 12 assists, and senior Avery Norris added 11 more for the Lady Rebels (1-0) in their two-setter system.
Buckli Moss provided a team-high nine digs while Jessica Hulsey picked up seven. Lizi Marler added five kills to the Central attack.
Central travels to Valle Catholic on Thursday for an early showdown of MAAA foes.
West County 2, Ellington 1
ELLINGTON, Mo. – West County used a more balanced effort and limited free balls during the final two sets to surge past Ellington 21-25, 25-15, 25-18 on the road.
Dori McRaven compiled 11 kills, four blocks, three aces and 16 service points for the Lady Bulldogs (1-0), whose home opener arrives Thursday against Herculaneum.
Peyten Blair also had a productive night with five blocks and five kills at the net, along with a team-high five digs and 10 points on the back row.
Senior setter Kylie Newhouse had 27 assists with 12 points, and Makenzie Simily put down seven kills. Jenna Simily served three aces in 18 points, and tallied four kills.
Chloe Young chipped in three kills with two blocks, and Madalyn Herrera picked up six points in the win.
Arcadia Valley 2, Dexter 1
IRONTON – A strong performance from three returning hitters helped Arcadia Valley fight back from one set down to prevail during its season opener.
All-state middle Maddie DeMent slammed 16 kills, scored 11 service points and supplied three blocks as the Lady Tigers defeated visiting Dexter 19-25, 25-17, 25-17.
Kirsten Day connected for nine kills, and Gracee Smith totaled eight kills plus seven digs for Arcadia Valley (1-0), which returns four starters from its Class 2 state runner-up squad.
Senior Katie Whited finished with 11 digs, and Riley Brogan had nine points.
Valle Catholic 2, Perryville 0
PERRYVILLE, Mo. – Sophomore Ella Bertram recorded 11 kills with a solo block, and Valle Catholic opened its season with a solid 25-22, 25-22 triumph at Perryville.
Taylor Zerwig served three of her team’s eight aces, Erin Mueller and Sam Loida added two each, and senior setter Rachel Loida totaled 20 assists plus seven digs for the Lady Warriors (1-0).
Hailey Weibrecht sent down seven kills in her awaited return from injury, while Hannah Drury produced four and Mueller chipped in three.
Sam Loida posted team highs with eight digs and 10 serve receptions, and added five assists. Brooke Viox finished with seven digs and 10 serve receptions.
De Soto 2, Bismarck 0
DE SOTO, Mo. – The Bismarck volleyball team began its season with a 25-8, 25-12 road setback at De Soto on Tuesday.
Kamryn Pehle knocked down 13 kills, Emma Portell made 17 assists, Kiley Roth served 17 points and Jenna Nickelson picked up 10 digs for the Lady Dragons.
Farmington 13, Festus 9
FARMINGTON – Hannah Wood doubled twice while going 3-for-4 overall, and was the winning pitcher Tuesday as Farmington overtook Festus 13-9 for its first softball victory of the season.
McKennah Wallace, Abby Robbins, Makenna Lachance and Bralea McClain each provided two hits for the Knights (1-1), who scored six runs in the fourth inning and four more in the fifth.
Wood allowed three runs, one earned, on five hits with three strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings after taking over for starter Robbins in the third.
Jocelyn Cunningham closed with a perfect seventh.
Hunter Ellsworth, Paige Perry and Abby Rickermann homered for Festus, which tallied six times in the third frame to assume a 6-3 lead.
Abby Vaugh finished 1-for-2 with three runs scored for Farmington. Sloane Elam, Angelia Davis and Cunningham also singled.
North County 11, De Soto 9
DE SOTO, Mo. – North County pushed district rival De Soto into extra innings after scoring four in the top of the seventh, and broke through again in the ninth to secure an 11-9 victory.
Emma Keen, Emilie Morgan and Taizja Lawless notched three hits apiece for the Lady Raiders (1-0), who rallied from 9-5 down with three available outs.
Kiersdan Davis and Jill Wruck added singles. Kennedy Kohler made her varsity return after missing her junior season due to injury, and earned the win in the circle.
Fleet Feet Kickoff
ARNOLD, Mo. – The Farmington girls placed second only to Nerinx Hall, and the boys finished fourth among 15 full cross country teams on Tuesday at Arnold City Park.
Sophomore Breanna Mathes completed the two-mile course at 12:56.50 to cross the line third among individuals, and freshman Aiden Moriarty ran a 13:10.65 for sixth in her first varsity contest.
Kassandra Ramos (13:14.66) was eighth for the Knights while teammates Kristina Ramos (13:14.66), Alayna Sparr (14:02.38) and Corinne Myers (14:04.33) also landed within the top 20.
The boys’ race featured another third-place result for Farmington as Collin Holifield (10:34.91) ended 19 seconds off the winning pace by George Blanco of Bishop DuBourg.
Thomas Lee (10:59.20) took 10th spot, and Alex Green (11:22.71) finished 21st.
Josiah Lantz (11:24.04) and Erica Standefer (14:33.08) posted the fastest times for Arcadia Valley.