MONROE — The Cheesemakers went into the Sept. 11 home match against Fort Atkinson believing they had a solid shot to notch a dual victory.
However, a pair of three-set losses at No. 1 and 2 singles kept Monroe on the short end of the stick. The team lost 4-3.
“We had positives as individuals, but fell short as a team,” Monroe coach Matt Bordner said. “Our struggles to close matches have continued a bit.”
Emma Towne lost the No. 1 singles match to Klaire Trieloff 7-5, 4-6, 2-6.
“Emma Towne battled really hard; her problem is never her effort. She played for almost three hours straight and showed some flashes of great tennis,” Bordner said. “I think for her, it’s a matter of understanding the mental part of the game better and resetting after a bad shot. She’s grown a lot this season and we just need to work on consistency and translating how she practices to how she plays in matches.”
At No. 2 singles, Cierra Larson lost to Olivia Granec 3-6, 6-4, 4-6. Bordner said Larson battled and continues to improve as a singles player after moving up from majority junior varsity play last season.
“She knows this was a match she could have taken and she definitely wanted it,” Bordner said. “No. 2 singles is quite the shift.”
The coach also said he hopes both Town and Larson realize that positive character helps pull a player up to succeed over their opponent.
“For Emma and Cierra, hopefully these tough losses help fuel their work in practice,” Bordner said. “It’s easy to win, but when you lose close matches, you find out a lot about a person’s character. I think these two have the ability to bounce back with success.”
Monroe’s other singles players also lost, making the singles a Fort Atkinson sweep. Bekah Rath fell in the No. 3 singles match 2-6, 0-6 and Grace Mathiason lost the No. 4 flight 3-6, 0-6.
“Grace Mathiason played her best match as a singles player losing in two close sets,” Bordner said. “She continues to improve, and she is a great listener. I think if she continues to work hard at the sport she could really blossom into a competitive player next year.”
Monroe won all three doubles matches in straight sets. At No. 1 doubles, Grace Tostrud and Jensen Christensen won 6-0, 6-1, while Samm Huizenga and Becky Thoman swept No. 2 doubles 6-0, 6-0. Kerstin Miller and Jessa Lucas rolled in the No. 3 doubles match 6-3, 6-0.
“All of our doubles teams played really well today and just continued to show their strengths. It was a great match to work on some things that we’ve been talking about in practice in a low-risk setting,” Bordner said. “We played well at the net and hopefully this boosts our confidence moving forward. Our doubles teams have definitely been our strong-suit this year.”
Monroe was scheduled to play at Stoughton Thursday and hosts Milton Monday. The conference tournament is set for Sept. 21 to 22 in Madison.