ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — After getting off to an 0-5 start this season, the Maryville Spoofhounds seem to have righted the ship with four-straight victories.
The fourth of those came on Monday afternoon in St. Joseph against Benton. The Hounds (4-5) were hit with a disadvantage from the beginning of the day when senior No. 1 Arianne Skidmore was ill and unable to make the trip to St. Joseph.
“That was very nice,” Maryville senior Dakotah Haughey said of the win. “Especially since it has been kind of a rough start. It was good.”
That meant the entire Spoofhound lineup would have to move up a spot and a pair of Spoofhounds would get their first varsity action in a traditional varsity match.
“It was great seeing everyone step up and play well,” Maryville coach Nicole McGinness said. “We’ve had some tough losses that could have gone either way, but to come in and get this win when everybody had to move up and we had some people playing varsity who had never played varsity, I was really impressed with everyone.”
The two players who got that opportunity rose to the occasion in a 5-4 team win for the Spoofhounds.
Freshman Carsen Burns was the first Spoofhound getting a bigger opportunity on Monday as she paired with senior Dakotah Haughey to form the No. 3 doubles team. Haughey is a force at the net for the Hounds and is accustomed to being paired with fellow senior Alyssa Pace, who complements her style from the back.
“It was kind of nice playing with new people and getting to know new people,” Haughey said. “I think it was fun for everyone.”
Burns played the role on Monday and played it well. The doubles pairing won 8-4 over Benton’s Kamryn Allen and Alicen Boyer.
“I was excited, but I feel like I was more scared than excited,” Burns said. “I don’t know, I’m just a freshman, and I haven’t played before this. … As we got ahead, I felt better about it.”
Burns is now 5-0 in varsity doubles matches this season after going 4-0 last Friday in the Benton Tournament as she was paired with Anna Schommer with the event that allowed the top-8 players for Maryville to play.
Schommer also got her first varsity opportunity in a traditional match and played singles against Benton’s Danielle Baig. Baig jumped out to an early lead on the Spoofhound senior — who waited three years for her first varsity opportunity and knew with how things were going around her that her match could very easily decide the team score.
“I was pretty nervous,” Schommer said. “McGinness texted me this morning, telling me that I was going to be playing singles varsity, and I was kind of freaked out, but I think I played really well for my first time on varsity.”
In the other doubles matches, Jewl Galapin and Pace lost to Benton’s Natalie Johnston and Kendal Buntin. The No. 1 doubles team of Athena Groumoutis and Lauren Cullin beat the talented Benton pairing of Kally Horn and Madeline Burright 8-6.
“Athena and Lauren, never having played together, were amazing,” McGinness said. “They were talking, they were doing what they needed to do and they were focused. I was impressed with their play against two really strong Benton opponents.”
All of the doubles pairings were an experiment with Skidmore’s absence meaning it was the first time any of them were playing together.
In singles, Haughey was the first to finish with a 8-0 win over Buntin. Galapin also established an early lead, but Pace, Groumoutis and Cullin each fell behind early. That meant Schommer had the entire team result dependent on her match.
After the early deficit, Schommer began to play more freely without worrying as much about the win or loss. And before she knew it, she was back in the match.
“The match started and she was up by a few games and I was just accepting that I’m probably not going to win,” Schommer said. “But then we got pretty even and then I started to win the next couple games, so I just got in a better mindset that I can totally do this, I can win."
Once the senior established her rhythm, she took over the match and won 8-6.
Schommer’s comeback was rapid enough that she finished before Galapin and Galapin’s match delivered Maryville the 5-4 team win. Galapin won 8-5 over Allen.
“Jewl is just a good player,” McGinness said. “She goes out, she has a good head on her shoulders, she knows what she needs to do to win the match and she goes out and does that.”
Maryville will be back in action on Wednesday in the Cameron Tournament which begins at 8 a.m.
“Rocky start, but I think we are doing well now,” Schommer said.
The Spoofhounds took fourth in the Benton Tournament on Friday with a 3-1 team record.
They began with a 3-2 loss to Savannah, but responded with a 5-0 win over Cameron, a 4-1 win over Trenton and a 3-1 win over Chillicothe.
Groumoutis and Galapin were each 3-1 in singles matches while Skidmore and Lauren were 4-0 in doubles as were Schommer and Burns.
LeBlond 6, Maryville 3
The defending district champions Bishop LeBlond beat the Spoofhounds 6-3 on Thursday. Groumoutis won her singles match while Skidmore and Cullin won in doubles and so did Haughey and Pace.
St. Pius X 8, Maryville 1
The Warriors topped the Spoofhounds 8-1 on Wednesday. Haughey and Pace won their doubles match.