The format the Mexico varsity girls tennis team had to follow at individual districts at Helias last Saturday and Monday allowed for two singles matches and two doubles matches.
That meant the Lady Bulldogs had four more chances at the next round of the playoffs after getting eliminated by Palmyra 5-2 at team districts, and emerging a champion from that pack at No. 1 was Grace Wortmann after defeating Nichols of Fulton's, 6-1, 6-0, and Helias' Cobb in the semis, 6-3, 6-0.
"Grace Wortmann received the number two seed in singles and ending up winning the singles division convincingly," said coach Kim Costlety. "I think she was a little nervous going in as we hadn’t seen Helias yet this year. She ended up playing both of the Helias girls who played very differently, but she was able to adapt and stick to her game plan. She will play one match at sectionals on Tues., October 9 at Helias at 4:30 p.m. The winner of the match will advance to the state tournament October 19-20."
Wortmann then went on to beat Conley of Helias in the finals, 6-1, 6-2.
At No. 2 Singles for Mexico Elayna Samm was 1-1. Results included besting Hannibal's Dissell, 6-1, 6-0, and losing to Bryan of Palmyra, 2-6, 2-6.
"Elayna had a great tournament. Elayna has played her best tennis of the past couple of weeks. She beat a competitor she had lost to earlier in the year. In her second match, she played Bryan from Palmyra, who ended the tournament in third place," Costley said. ". District tournaments are very tough and this year was no exception. Each district seeds four positions and the others are drawn. We started the tournament on Saturday, but were rained out and ended up finishing (Monday)."
In doubles competition it was Jennifer Jacobi and Hannah Rodgers that competed at No. 1 for Mexico against Palmyra. While the bout did come down to the very end, the Lady Bulldogs weren't quite able to come out on top in this one, instead getting edged out, 6-7 (1), 1-6.
"Jacobi/Rodgers lost a tough set in a tie breaker. They were very focused, but just couldn’t quite pull it out," Costley said. "Overall, it was a good showing and the girls played well. These girls have all represented Mexico very well and have worked to make Mexico tennis competitive. There are big voids to fill and I hope our younger players are excited about the opportunity to move up next year."
At No. 2 Doubles for Mexico Lexi Winterblower and Makayla Cash started out by downing Fulton, 6-2, 6-1. But, in their second bout the duo fell to Helias, 2-6, 0-6.
"Winterbower/Cash were able to get a win before facing the eventual third place team. Both of these girls were new to the top six and have done a good job with all the challenges that go with being top six," said Costley. "Elayna Samm, Hannah Rogers, and Makayla Cash are all seniors, so we will miss them along with our other seniors, Baylee Crow, Catie Prater and Gracelynn Penn."