McFarland High School tennis team senior Lexi Mazzara, at No. 4 singles, showed some grit under the hot sun at Saturday’s Dane County Invite at Madison’s Quan Park.
She won straight set matches over Madison La Follette and Madison Memorial before taking down Eva Khamphouy of Monona Grove 6-3, 6-4 in the final to capture McFarland’s only first-place finish in the eight-school tournament.
With temperatures in the mid-80s causing player fatigue in the daylong event, Mazzara did not allow the elements to hamper her goal of victory.
“I just kept saying I can’t lose this,” Mazzara said. “Adrenaline definitely helped me.”
Mazzara’s success was the lone bright spot for McFarland, the only WIAA Division 2 school taking on seven Division 1 teams. The Spartans ended up sixth in team points with 19.5 points.
Madison Memorial won three flights and took first with 40 points, and MG finished second with 35.
The Silver Eagles had one first place finish at No. 3 doubles, where Paige Hanson and Cassie Antonson beat McFarland’s Kimiya Pournik and Lauren Shields 6-0, 6-2 and needed three sets to knock off DeForest in the second round. In the title match, Hanson and Antonson held back Stoughton 6-3, 6-2.
“They played really well and they earned it,” MG coach John Willauer said of his No. 3 duo.
The Silver Eagles also finished second in three flights including No. 1 doubles where seniors Hailey Munz and Payton Lee knocked off La Follette and Sun Prairie before falling 6-0, 6-0 to one of the top doubles teams in the state, Samantha and Cecile Fuchs of DeForest. Munz played No. 1 singles all last season, but Willauer said putting her at No. 1 doubles is best for the team.
“Hailey is a No. 1 doubles champion (with Amanda Newman in 2017). I wanted to see how she and Payton would play,” Willauer said. “We are a very different team with Hailey on doubles. It’s not set in stone yet, but I really liked what I saw today. We have a lot of moving parts this year. It’s nice to have the horses to do that.”
Monona Grove also earned second place finishes from No. 2 singles Maelia Dziedzic and No. 4 singles Khamphouy.
The Silver Eagles No. 1 singles player Jewel Lindwall and Colleen Ross at No. 3 singles took third place. Maggie Davis and Mark Clark were seventh at No. 2 doubles.
For McFarland, No. 3 singles Laura Maudlin captured fourth place, and No. 2 singles Aeryn Olson, the No. 2 doubles team of Sadie Bartzen and Sarah Kopp, and Pournik and Shields at No. 3 doubles all ended up sixth. Michelle Butcher took seventh at No. 1 singles.
Both McFarland and Monona Grove are in action Friday morning with the Spartans competing in a dual against Sauk Prairie and the Silver Eagles taking part in an invitational at Lake Geneva Badger High School.