Girls tennis: Ottumwa, MSAE compete at Fort Madison Invite

Apr. 23—FORT MADISON — Both the Ottumwa and Fairfield Maharishi girls tennis teams took part in the Fort Madison Invitational on Saturday.

The Pioneers claimed the team title by winning all 16 matches in the four divisions of the tournament edging Ottumwa in three of the divisions. In the top singles flight,

MSAE senior Ishita Mukadam posted an 8-3 win in her showdown with Ottumwa senior Julia Cordon Diaz de Entresotos. Mukadam also beat Lillian Buckner of Fort Madison 8-0 and Elizabeth Hamma of Burlington Notre Dame 8-1.

In No. 2 singles, MSAE sophomore Poojita Mukadam bested all of her opponents, winning 8-0 over Fort Madison's Alixandra Kern, Burlington-Notre Dame's Isabella Callison (BND) 8-3 and Ottumwa's Emerson Keith 8-0. In the No. 1 doubles category, Pioneer freshman Ria Altynska-Ross and junior Aparajita Kalra came out on top in all four matches including an 8-2 win over Ottumwa teammates Nellie Morgan and Jordan Lee in the decisive match of the tournament.

"Our girls arrived ready to play," Maharishi head girls tennis coach Lawrence Eyre said. "I was delighted to see them play effective tennis throughout the tournament."

Daira Valls and Joyce Wang claimed the No. 2 doubles title for Maharishi, sweeping through four matches including an 8-4 win over Ottumwa teammates Elli Bishop and Ava Barnes. Bishop and Barnes matched Morgan and Lee in securing runner-up finishes for the Bulldogs in doubles play, winning 32 of their final 35 games in the tournament.

"This was the first opportunity for our two doubles' teams to play together," Ottumwa head girls tennis coach Leanna White said. "They both did well with their new partners in communication and being aggressive at the net."

Diaz de Entresotos bounced back from her opening loss to finish second in the top singles tournament. The Ottumwa senior earned an 8-4 win over Hamma and an 8-1 win over Buckner.

"Julia did a great job coming up to the net and trying to end her points quickly," White said. "Emerson kept her opponents on the move throughout all of her matches on the way to finishing third.

Overall, it was a great day for the team."

Maharishi secured an 8-1 win over Keokuk on Monday, dropping just four games in five singles matches and four games in a trio of doubles' wins. The Pioneers improved to 4-0 in duals this season.

"Our players battled big winds as well as their opponents," Eyre said. "We came out on top with patience on important points and good hustle to the ball throughout their matches."