Leitz, Huinker to represent Viking girls in doubles at state

By Becky Walz,

Jaidyn Duvel returns the volley as doubles teammate Leah Holland waits in the background during the regional individual/doubles tournament Monday at Luther. (Driftless Multimedia photo by Becky Walz)

Six Decorah girls tennis players competed in the Regional Individual State Tennis Qualifier at Luther College Monday.
Each team in the region was able to enter two singles players and two doubles teams into the competition with only the champion and runner-up moving on to the Individual State Tennis Tournament held May 24-25 at the University of Iowa Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex in Iowa City.
Representing Decorah in singles were Camryn Holland and Kaitlyn Bjork. Both Holland and Bjork were successful in their first rounds.
Holland trounced her opponent, Eunices Vazquez from Hampton-Dumont-CAL, in a pair of 6-0 sets, but then fell to the No. 2 seed Maddie Leary from Waverly-Shell Rock, 4-6 and 2-6. Similarly, Bjork soundly defeated her first round opponent, Zoe Bailey from Independence, winning 6-0, 6-1, before falling to the top-seed from Aplington-Parkersburg, 2-6, 3-6.
“Both Camryn and Kaitlyn played some great tennis — I was proud of them for the style game they played in both matches. While they both lost in the second round, they forced their opponents to earn their wins, and this match play experience was invaluable as we prep for our upcoming team regional matches,” said Coach Amanda Huinker.
In doubles, the combinations of Jaidyn Duvel and Leah Holland along with Evon Leitz and Olivia Huinker represented Decorah.
Duvel and Holland were seeded fourth. In the first round, the combo faced Megan Bruns and Holly Haugstad from Aplington-Parkersburg and won in a third set match tiebreaker, 6-2, 5-7 (10-3). Their decisive second round victory of 6-1, 6-1 over Maddy Broughton and Katelyn from Independence earned them a spot in the semifinal match against the No. 1 seed, Kaitlyn and Kendall Olson from Osage.  While the duo fell to the Olsons 6-1, 6-1, they went on to claim third place, defeating Emily Bittinger and Haddie Huisenga from Waverly-Shell Rock 6-1, 6-1.
Seeded No. 2, Leitz and Huinker had a tough first match against Leah House and Marie Gorman from Independence, but were able to secure a 6-4, 6-3 victory. In the second round, Leitz and Huinker dominated more solidly, winning 6-3, 6-0 against Paityn Enke and Ashley Roberts from Clear Lake. In their semifinal match, the duo faced Emily Bittinger and Haddie Huisenga from Waverly-Shell Rock, and earned their spot in the finals with a 6-1, 6-3 victory.  In the finals, Letiz and Huinker faced, for the fourth time this year, Kaitlyn and Kendall Olson from Osage, and while the pair ultimately fell 3-6, 3-6, they played their strongest doubles of the day and took the most games than in any of their previous matchups against the Olson pair.

“It’s very exciting to be returning to the Individual State Tennis Tournament this year. Evon and Olivia have both had the goal of qualifying for Individual State all year, and it was awesome to see them put the time and energy into making that goal a reality. I was also thrilled with Jaidyn and Leah’s performance – they played intelligently and aggressively, and this will serve our whole team well as we begin the team qualifying tournament later this week,” concluded Coach Huinker.

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