SPRINGFIELD, MO - The Lady Irish tennis team capped another successful season on October 12 by placing 4th in Class 1 at the state team tennis tournament. It was the second straight 4th place finish for the Lady Irish, after not having competed in the Final Four since 1999. As a team, the Lady Irish finished the season with an incredible 18-3 team record.
The girls fell to St. Louis John Burroughs in the semifinals, then narrowly lost to St. Louis MICDS in the 3rd place match, falling 5-2. The doubles duo of Erin Jarvis-Cecilia Bailey won their doubles match by an 8-4 score, while the doubles teams of Anna Rader-Casey Lee and Claire Griesemer-Ashley Andrews narrowly lost to their opponents by identical 9-7 scores. Anna Rader won her singles match 6-1, 6-0 to briefly tie the match at 2-all, before MICDS pulled out three close singles matches to win third place.
At the individual state meet, Anna Rader went 4-1 in Singles to place 5th for the second consecutive year. It was her fourth year to place sixth or better in the state tournament. Anna closed out her senior year with a singles record of 38-2, which according to the MSHSAA record book is the highest single season win total in girls' tennis history. Her career singles record stands at 132-8.
In individual doubles, the team of Erin Jarvis-Cecilia Bailey lost their first match, but battled back and coasted to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Chillicothe in consolation play before falling to Kansas City Pembroke Hill in a tight match marred by controversial scoring in a critical game of the second set.
Coaches Martin VerSteeg and Emily Ensell spoke at the season ending tennis banquet held on October 16, and had nothing but good things to say about the way this team competed. Coach VerSteeg was also optimistic about the future, with four Varsity players returning for next year and others ready to step up and begin playing Varsity. However, this team will sorely miss Coach Ensell next season, as she will be relocating to North Carolina in December at the semester break.