Girls tennis: Fairfield duo earns Southeast silver

May 2—FAIRFIELD — Yin and yang.

In their first season together as a doubles team, Fairfield teammates Emma Wendland and Sriya Yammanur are proving to be a perfect compliment for one another. The duo put their sudden chemistry on the display once again on Wednesday, making it all the way to the championship match in the doubles portion of the Southeast Conference girls tennis tournament.

Getting that far was no easy feat. The duo were pushed to the limit by Burlington teammates Ava Moffet and Lorelei Weaver in a semifinal match that featured a first-set tiebreaker and a 16-point battle in a decisive third-set super-tiebreaker.

Wendlend and Yamannur rallied for the win, answering a 7-4 tiebreaker loss that decided the opening set. After winning the second set, 6-3, the Fairfield teammates won a 10-6 tiebreaker that clinched all-conference honors for both players.

"We work really well together. We hype each other up and make each other better," Yammanur said. "We really wanted to win.

"Our opponents were pretty difficult. We had to work pretty hard to earn this," Wendlend added. "We're a really good team and we came through."

The Fairfield boys swept the championship hardware in Burlington on Wednesday at their portion of the Southeast Conference tennis tournament. Ruimin Luo swept his way through the singles tournament in Burlington, dropping just seven games in three matches including a 6-3, 6-2 win over Burlington's Carson Ziegler in the championship match.

The Trojans also produced the Southeast Conference's top boys doubles team on Wednesday. Han Wang and Austin Loria overcame a tough opening test from Mount Pleasant teammates Dane Cook and Sawyer Fulton, winning 6-2 and 6-4 in the quarterfinals before sweeping through 24 straight games in the final two rounds of the conference doubles tournament on Wednesday at Dankwardt Park.

Two more Burlington teammates, Emily Mosley and Anna Buxton, would keep Wendlend and Yammanur from claiming the title of the Southeast Conference's top doubles team. After losing the first game of the title match, Mosley and Buxton swept their way to the 6-1, 6-0 win adding to the conference-championship hardware for the Grayhounds after going 8-0 in duals this season to win the Southeast Conference team title.

"The nice part about this tournament is that it wasn't one-and-done," Fairfield head girls tennis coach Phil Wendlend said. "Girls got the chance to play two to three matches throughout the day, even four if you started in the right spot. There was a lot of good tennis the girls got to experience before regionals."

Mareyn Dunkin edged Trojan teammate Faith Jones for sixth place in singles play at the Southeast Conference tournament while fellow Fairfield teammates Una Carter and Lola Hatchette placed seventh in doubles, edging Keokuk teammates Elizabeth Stambaugh and Aburee Dade 8-6 in the final match for both teams.

Emma Wendland and Yammanur, however, emerged on Wednesday as the duo with the chance to make the deepest postseason run for Fairfield. It's been a rapid ascent for two players that didn't even start the year playing doubles together.

"We've had different partners all season in doubles play," Wendlend said. "It's been so much fun to adjust and have a partner that's there for you."

Wendlend and Yammanur didn't set any lofty goals after being put together midway through the season. Now, heading into Monday's 1A, Region 8 doubles tournament back at the Fairfield Middle School tennis complex, the duo feel confident in that their partnership will help them do well in their bid to potentially earn a somewhat surprising state tournament berth together.

"Emma is really good at serving. She keeps the ball in and keeps us both thinking positive out there," Yammanur said. "Emma uses a lot of back spin. I like to use a lot of top spin.

"She has even better serves," Wendlend said of Yammanur. "I like to go cross-court. She likes to go straight across. We have very opposite playing styles, but it works really nice together."

— Scott Jackson can be reached at Follow him on Twitter@CourierScott.