Coach Shawn Petersen on Liz Metheny’s Tennis Season

Sports

June 6th, 2011 by Jim Field

Liz Metheny of Atlantic placed 7th overall in Singles at the 2011 Class 1A State Tennis Torunament held in Waterloo on June 2, 3.

Only 16 girls qualify for the State Tournament in Singles in Iowa in each class; girls must choose between competing in Singles or in Doubles.  This year, most of the top players entered in Singles, largely due to the fact that the defending Doubles champions, Emily and Rachel Pierson of Red Oak were entering the Doubles field.  This made for a very deep and talented field in the Singles draw.

Liz came in as an unseeded player (only four girls are seeded) and drew Amanda Stefanik of Oskaloosa in Round 1.  Amanda came in with a 17-2 overall record, so it figured to be a tough match.  Both players played well in the opening set, with a lot of deuce games.  Liz broke Amanda in Game 3 and held onto her serve throughout to capture a 6-3, 6-1 win.

Unfortunately, Liz then had to play the top seed, 2-time defending champion Sarah Dalton of Wahlert Catholic.  Dalton is probably the best player in the state regardless of class, and she took care of Liz in straight sets.  Dalton went on to win the tournament for the third consecutive year.

That dropped Liz into the consolation bracket, where she had to win to stay alive.  She was matched against Erin Olson of Estherville-Lincoln Central, who had previously beaten Catie Faust of St. Albert to stay alive herself.  Liz fought through some heat issues, and got through it 6-4, 7-5.  Liz had been sick for most of the week, and definitely was not 100% physically, so it was good to see her pull through and live to play another day.

In the consolation semifinals, she took on #3 seed Ena Alcan of Fairfield; Ena is a foreign exchange student from Serbia, who entered the tournament undefeated.  She was upset in the first round, but battled back with two nice wins, including knocking out the #4 seed, to face Liz.  Liz was up a break in the first and second sets, but couldn’t quite seal the deal, losing 7-5, 7-5.  Both girls played very good tennis.

Finally, Liz had a match for seventh place — against Stefanik, who herself won her way back after losing to Liz in the opener.  Amanda was a little more prepared for Liz this time around, and won the first set pretty handily 6-3; Liz did her thing, though — fighting back to take a 4-1 lead in the second set, before holding on to win 6-4, forcing a 3rd Set match tie-break.  In that, Liz was down 5-3, before rattling off 7 straight points to take the tiebreak and the match, 10-5, and finish in seventh place.

It was a great tournament for Liz — going 3-2 against some of the best in the state, and only losing to the champion and the previously unbeaten Alcan.  Liz and Derek Tjepkes will compete in State Co-ed Tennis on Tuesday June 7 in Johnston, Iowa.