Norris tennis season ends at state meet

By, Austin Hough, The Voice News - May 24, 2018

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Photos by Josie Ivy, The Voice News

Maddie Starr hits a shot against Ogallala during her No. 2 doubles match.


LINCOLN – The Norris girls tennis team tied for 17th place with six points at the Class B State Tennis Tournament last Thursday and Friday at Woods Tennis Center.


Omaha Brownell-Talbot (45.5), Omaha Duchesne (43) and McCook (40.5) were the top three team finishers.


The No. 2 doubles team of junior Ana Krueger and freshman Maddie Starr came into the state tournament with a 21-7 record and the No. 7 overall seed.


The Titan duo defeated Abby Rezny and Alissa Vlasak of Wilber-Clatonia 6-1, 6-0 in the first round to set up a second-round match against 10th-seeded Kira Mestl and Keyana Hastings of Ogallala in the second round.


Starr and Krueger dropped the first set 6-4 before coming back from a 5-4 deficit in the second set to win 7-5. The Lady Titans then jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third set. However, Ogallala came back to take a 4-3 lead. Norris was then able to tie things at 4-4, but lost a close game to make it 5-4. Following about six deuce points, the Lady Titans lost 6-4 to be eliminated from the tournament.


“It was a tough way to end the season for them,” Norris head coach Darren Ivy said. “They had several chances to put the last set away but a missed shot here and there on potential game points changed the momentum and allowed Ogallala to get back into the match. Despite the tough loss and early exit at state, they medaled at nearly every meet this season and had a great year. Hopefully, this tough setback will make them hungry to play a lot of tennis together in the offseason and get back here and do better next season.”


The No. 1 doubles team of freshmen Izzy and Georgia Havel won their opening match 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) over the Crete team of Makenzie Crumbliss and Katelyn Schroder.


This set up the Lady Titans for a second-round matchup against second-seeded Nicole Mittman and Holly Rockenbach of York.


The Havels lost this match 6-1, 6-0 to finish the season 18-19.


“It was the fourth time they have faced them in the last several weeks,” Ivy said. “Both of their players are seniors and have had a lot of varsity and state experience. I thought Izzy and Georgia played well against them and the match was a lot closer than the final score indicated. It was just a matter of York winning at key points and keeping our players off balance with their variety of shots that they hit.


“For two freshmen, they had a great season. Most of their losses were against teams that ended up getting seeds at the Class A and Class B state tournaments. I wish for their sake they could have gotten a little bit better draw at state, but that is just the luck of it sometimes. I think they have a bright future if they keep working at tennis in the offseason.”


At No. 1 singles, senior Logan Reynolds lost 6-0, 6-0 to 10th-seeded Elvira Eek of York in the first round.


At No. 2 singles, junior Taylor Ronne fell 6-3, 6-1 to 12th-seeded Ansley Nelson of Omaha Skutt.


Norris graduates just Reynolds and Brittany Kurtzer and returns the rest of its varsity and junior varsity players.


“We made great strides in year two, but we have a long ways to go to where we are competing on day two of the state tournament,” Ivy said. “That is what our goal has to be and that means a lot of work in the offseason to close that gap. I know these girls are hungry and can put in the work that it takes to get us there".








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