After beginning the season with several tough losses in a row, the Lady Lakers tennis team has bounced back to a 5-4 record after securing a 6-3 win against lake area rival School of the Osage Monday afternoon.

"What I didn't foresee," Camdenton coach Kirk Richey said, "was how down we were after those early losses."

After starting the season 1-4 with losses to Joplin, Glendale, Lebanon and Bolivar, Richey switched up the doubles lineup to get better chemistry going earlier in matches. The move has paid off, as the team has won four straight matches.

"I think we have gotten better too, from point to point," Richey continued.

But the improved doubles lineup matched up against an Osage team ready to play Monday — and the Lady Indians took competitive matches to the Lady Lakers, securing two of the three matches heading into singles play.

Camdenton's number one team of senior Kiana Wood and junior Lindsey Morice went down 0-3, but battled back to 3-4 after a pep talk from Richey.

But Osage's number one team of junior Hannah Bashore and senior Mandee Reahr played some of their best tennis this season, eventually defeating the Camdenton duo 8-4.

Behind Camdenton junior Finessa Rassel's aggressive strokes, the number two team of Rassel and sophomore Maisy Borden won 8-1 over Osage's number two team of Courtney Grasshoff and Kristina Ruck.

A tight match developed at the number three doubles position between Camdenton's Maria Martin and Grace Bommel and Osage's Kaitlyn Ruck and Adora Bax.

With Ruck handling the back court with few mistakes and Bax aggressive at the net, the Osage team prevailed 8-5.

"They're a good team, they compliment each other well," Osage coach Scott Blacksher said of Kaitlyn Ruck/Bax.

The success of the doubles round, however, faded in the singles round, with Camdenton taking five of the six matches.

Jessi Smith was the lone winner for Osage in singles, playing at number six and winning 8-4.

The Lady Indians have had to overcome some difficulties this season. With the projected number one player at the beginning of the season, Ana Blacksher, not eligible to play, the rest of the team has had to play up one spot.

"And they are playing up. They're doing a great job," Coach Blacksher said.

But Blacksher said that playing up hasn't been the biggest obstacle. Injuries have taken a toll of the team, with one match defaulting in Monday's competition due to a nagging wrist injury and others not feeling 100 percent.

Despite playing without their top player and through injuries, the Lady Indians are 5-1 on the season. They faced Lebanon Tuesday.

The Lady Lakers took on Helias Tuesday.

Camdenton vs. Osage
1. Finessa Rassel (Cam) def. Hannah Bashore 8-2
2. Kiana Wood (Cam) def. Courtney Grasshoff 8-3
3. Lindsey Morice (Cam) def. Mandee Reahr 8-4
4. Maria Martin (Cam) def. Kristina Ruck by default 5-4
5. Maisy Borden (Cam) def. Kaitlyn Ruck 8-1
6. Jessi Smith (O) def. Grace Bommel 8-4

1. Bashore/Reahr (O) def. Wood/Morice 8-4
2. Rassel/Borden (Cam) def. Grasshoff/Kristina Ruck 8-1
3. Kaitlyn Ruck/Adora Bax (O) def. Martin/Bommel 8-5