Mattoon’s Emily Stortzum returns a volley with a backhand shot that ran the length of the net and out of reach of the Teutopolis players. (photo/Chet Piotrowski)

By Chet Piotrowski

Mattoon’s Emily Stortzum yelled at herself to just “play” in her No. 1 doubles tennis Apollo Conference championship match with Tess Huene against Teutopolis’ Macy Probst and Isabella Hemmen on Friday afternoon at Effingham High School.

They were handed a 6-1 first set loss and Stortzum was trying to do everything to get herself mentally back on track.

But it did not work out for the Green Wave duo who also lost the second set, 6-2, to finish second at No. 1 doubles.

Mattoon, the defending Apollo champ, is tied with Effingham for second place entering Saturday’s singles competition with 13 points. Teutopolis leads with 21 points.  

In the title match at No. 1 doubles, Mattoon traded first-set points with the Shoes. Ahead 2-1, Teutopolis duo stole a game on Mattoon’s serve, going up 3-1. Stortzum and Huene went ahead 30-15 in the next game. Teutopolis then won the next two points to go ahead 40-30 before going fighting off deuce a few times to win and go ahead, 4-1.

Huene served for Mattoon on the next point. After a service error awarding Teutopolis a 40-15 advantage, Huene again served twice into the net to give Probst and Hemmen the game and make it 5-1.

Stortzum hugged the net and returned a backhand that was returned at such a sharp angle neither Probst nor Hemmen were able to reach the ball, which eventually bounced perpendicular to the net and out of bounds for 15-30.

After battling to deuce, Teutopolis won the final game for 6-1 win in the first set. The second match didn’t fare much better for the Mattoon duo as they were defeated, 6-2.

“I got mad at myself very easily, “Stortzum said. “I thought as long as we played consistently, we probably would have had it. If we kept our head in the games, rather than thinking about the end result, rather than the point.”

Huene expected that kind of performance from Probst and Hemmen.

“We were expecting a closer match,” Huene. “I think we got too excited for some points to end quickly. I think mostly getting too skiddish and anxious trying to finish the points quickly.”

Frustration set in as the Green Wave players couldn’t find a place to drop a shot.

“We weren’t trying to hit it the net player, but there wasn’t much else we could do because they were everywhere,” Huene said. “They knew where to go.”

Mattoon coach Dwight Perry gave Teutopolis credit.

“They played really well,” he said. “They played better than they played us a couple weeks ago during our dual match. You have to give them credit. They played a heckuva championship match.”

Stortzum felt Teutopolis did a better job of managing the match.

“They were definitely more active and strategizing where they wanted to be,” she said.

Huene said they need to be better at controlling themselves and play at the net.

“They were good at controlling the net,” she said. “We need to get better and being confident and controlling the point better. We just need to calm down and control the game.”

Mattoon, which swept all three doubles events last season, took five of the six singles championships the following day.

Annelise Overmyer, who won the No. 6 singles Apollo title last season, teamed with last year’s No. 4 champ Caroline Davis to win the No. 2 doubles consolation final, beating Mt. Zion, 6-3, 6-3.

“Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how we performed,” Perry said. “Naturally, like the girls, it’s more fun to win than to lose, but it’s all about competing. If you go out and give it your all and you know that you did, sometimes you lost to a better team. I think that’s just what happened tonight. T-town was a better team on the court. That happens to all of us sometimes.”

Charleston coach Eric Selstad says he was pleased with his youthful squad’s efforts.

Maci Mayhall and Clara Cox won the consolation finals at No. 3 doubles, defeating Mattoon’s Elaina Short and Lily Gregory, 6-0, 6-1. Maggie Goetten and Hannah Larson also reached the consolation finals, losing 6-0, 6-3 to Mt. Zion.

“I think they did a pretty good job. We’re a young team,” Selstad said. “There are some really strong teams here. I think it’s a bit of a shock for them. I thought it was good. It was definitely a learning experience for them. The one thing it shows them is what level of tennis they need to bring their game up to compete.”

TEAM POINTS

Teutopolis – 21

Effingham – 13

Mattoon – 13

Mahomet-Seymour – 8

Mt. Zion – 5

Charleston – 4

Lincoln – 2

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

(local results)

No. 1 Doubles

Stortzum/Huene (MHS) defeated Goetten/Larson (CHS), 6-0, 6-0

Stortzum/Huene (MHS) defeated Fried/Clements (M-S), 6-0, 6-1

Stortzum/Huene (MHS) lost to Probst/I. Hemmen(Teutopolis), 6-1, 6-2 championship

Goetten/Larson (CHS) defeated Pineda/Nelson (Lincoln) 6-4, 3-6, 13-11

Goetten/Larson (CHS) lost to Bradford/Bradford (MtZ), 6-0, 6-3 in consolation championship

No. 2 Doubles

Overmyer/Davis (MHS) defeated Lee/Sanborn (M-S), 6-2, 6-0

Amaya/Long (CHS) lost to Arend Mapes (EHS), 6-0, 6-0

Overmyer/Davis (MHS) lost to Arend/Mapes, 7-5, 6-4

Amaya/Long lost to Lee/Sanborn, (M-S), 6-1, 6-2

Overmyer/Davis defeated Brunner/Mallory (MtZ), 6-3, 6-3, in consolation final

No. 3. Doubles

Mayhall/Cox( CHS) defeated Koehne/Toft, (Lincoln), 6-1, 6-3

Mayhall/Cox (CHS) lost to Hoene/Hemmen, (Teutopolis), 6-0,6-0

Short/Gregory (MHS) defeated Amatyleon/Fried (M-S), 6-2, 6-2

Short/Gregory lost to Woomer/Kroenlein (EHS), 2-6, 6-4, 6-2

Mayhall/Cox (CHS) defeated Short/Gregory (MHS), 6-0, 6-1 for third place