Oak Harbor doubles teams off to fast start

J. Patrick Eaken

In the Jack Wallington Doubles Invitatinal at Springfield, Oak Harbor had two championship teams.

The first doubles team of senior Kaitlyn Strouse and junior Ashley Schiller and second doubles team of juniors Emma Hand and Jessa Bolander won their respective brackets. As a team, Oak Harbor finished third behind Notre Dame and St. Ursula.

Other Rockets contributing were juniors Allison Clark, Abby John and freshmen Peyton Sautter and Addison Auer.

Placing behind two Division I programs out of the Three Rivers Athletic Conference demonstrates the potential of Oak Harbor’s team this year.

Oak Harbor coach Rick LaFountain has 13 players, but besides the early season success, he says he is “still hoping to see continued improvement out of all of the girls.”

You would think this would be a season where the Rockets would struggle because they graduated eight of their nine letter winners from last season, where the team finished 11-9 overall and 6-8 in the Sandusky Bay Conference. 

The lone letter winner returning is Schiller, a junior, who was 5-6 last year at third singles. But his players have been working on their game during the offseason.

“I have a few girls who came out to summer tennis and are excited to make an impact on the varsity lineup,” LaFountain said.

So far, the Rockets are 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the SBC, getting a 3-2 win over Edison by winning third singles and both doubles matches, but losing at Clay in a non-league match, 5-0, on Wednesday.

Against the Chargers, Schiller, in a three-hour match, won third singles by defeating Emily Moore, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. The first doubles team of Hand and Bolander defeated McKenna Schaffer and Rianna Dingle, 6-2, 6-3, and the second doubles team of Hailey Frondorf and Auer defeated Keirra Keoghan and Ally Gardner 7-5, 6-4. In first singles, Strouse fell to Alli Vogus 6-0, 6-0 and Colleen Warner fell to Torri Keyser, 6-0, 6-0.

The other win came at Wauseon, where the Rockets also prevailed 3-2, winning second singles and both doubles matches.

Warner defeated Emah Starkweather 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 in second singles, Hand and Bolander downed Briana Hays and Emily Holcomb 6-3, 6-2 and Frondorf-Auer defeated Kassidy Zientek and Kacy Burt 6-4, 7-5. Strouse fell to Tatum Bowers 6-2, 6-3 at first singles and Joscelyn Rollheiser fell to Kelsey Bowers 6-0, 6-0 at third singles.

This is LaFountain’s 54th season coaching tennis over 30 years and he got his 500th career coaching win last spring with the Oak Harbor boys team. That includes two stints at Oak Harbor (36 seasons), one stint at Fremont Ross (17 seasons) and one season at Fremont St. Joseph coaching boys and girls tennis each fall and spring. 





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