Beatty wins SEC titleMP girls’ tennis team ties for second, boys take third at conference meet
Mt. Pleasant’s Taylor Beatty claimed the No. 1 singles championship in the Southeast Conference girls’ tennis tournament in Fairfield yesterday, leading the Panthers to a second-place tie in the team scores.
The Panthers finished with 14 points, tied with Ft. Madison and just barely behind Keokuk (15 points) in a hard-fought tournament. Fairfield scored 11 points for fourth place.
The boys finished third at their tournament in Keokuk with 11 points. Keokuk won at 23, followed by Ft. Madison (15). Fairfield finished fourth (5).
On the girls’ side, Beatty won her first match against Ft. Madison’s Taylor Powell by a score of 8-4 and went on to defeat Keokuk’s Jenna Kite in the championship, 8-6, to become the first native Mt. Pleasant player to win the conference’s No. 1 singles title.
The only other Panther to win at No. 1 in the program’s 17-year history was foreign exchange student Ana Paula de Andrade in 2002.
Beatty now has a season record of 6-3.
The Panthers’ No. 2, Shelby Barton, lost her first match to Fairfield’s Karley Williams, but came back with a 9-7 win over Ft. Madison’s JoAnne Hanssen.
Tasha Glover, No. 3 for the Panthers, defeated Fairfield’s Kim O’Carroll, 8-3, in the first round, but fell to Ft. Madison’s Kirsten Wells by the same score in the final.
No. 4 Becca Lehman defeated Keokuk’s Alexis Kemp, 8-4, in the semi-final, but fell to Rachel Sugars of Ft. Madison in the championship match.
Ashton Whaley fell to Fairfield’s Courtney Laux, 8-6, in her first match, but came up with an 8-5 win over Keokuk’s Marissa Hasselbusch in the consolation match.
No. 6 Emily Hatfield defeated Hanna Kerr of Fairfield, 9-7, before falling to Ft. Madison’s Kayley Plate in the championship.
In doubles, Beatty and Glover defeated Fairfield in their first match, 8-4, but fell to Keokuk in the championship.
Barton and Lehman fell in their first doubles match to Fairfield but defeated Ft. Madison in the consolation match, 8-6.
Hatfield and Raeanna Crile lost their doubles matches against Keokuk and Ft. Madison.
In the boys’ SEC tournament, Chase Higginbotham and Zach Schmitz placed second at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively.
Higginbotham defeated Keokuk’s Dan Williams in a close first match (2-6, 6-2, 11-10) before falling to Fairfield’s Govi Punj in the championship.
Schmitz picked up a first-round win over Fairfield’s Josh Alonso (6-2, 6-0), but fell in the championship match to Gabe Vandenberg of Keokuk.
In No. 3 singles play, Matt Zihlman lost to Ft. Madison’s Lance Hocker, but came back with a win over Fairfield’s Landen Greiner in the consolation match (8-3).
No. 4 Tyler Pace lost to Ft. Madison’s Jonathan Temenak, but he also came back for a consolation win, defeating Fairfield’s Alex Simpson, 8-3.
Blake Wickham lost his first No. 5 singles match to Ft. Madison’s Ross Simpson, but he won the consolation match as well with an 8-4 victory over Fairfield’s Chance Nicely.
And in the No. 6 singles spot, Austin Meyer fell to Drake Hogan of Ft. Madison before defeated Fairfield’s Gannon Haile (8-4).
Higginbotham and Schmitz took third place in doubles play. Zihlman and Pace also took third, as did Meyer and Colton Schinstock.
The boys’ tennis team plays in the district tournament on Thursday at Fairfield, and the girls’ team travels to Davis County for one more regular-season meet. The girls begin postseason play on Saturday.