Indians defeat Waynesville, Lakers fall to Bolivar

The tough early-­season schedule for the Lady Lakers tennis team continued Tuesday
with a loss to the Bolivar Lady Liberators.
The team fell 3-­6, but coach Kirk Richey remained optimistic about plowing through the
tough schedule.
"We're doing good, we're staying positive," he said.
The team went down early in the doubles round, dropping two of the three matches. The
number one doubles team of Finessa Rassel and Maisy Borden were the sole winners,
defeating their opponents 8­-5.
Rassel and Borden continued their winning in the singles round, both defeating their
opponents by the score of 8­2.
While the Lady Lakers are 1­-6 on the season, Rassel has been a bright spot for the
squad. Of her matches so far, she has only lost once, and that was to the top player from
Branson, arguably the best high school girls tennis player in southwest Missouri.
"The matches are indicative of her performances," Richey said about the senior. "She's
playing with a ton of confidence."
Richey also said Rassel has learned to play with more pace to her game. A lot of her
improvement comes from playing a deep competition pool at Cooper Tennis Complex in
Springfield over the summer.
"I feel a big improvement," Rassel said. "And I think that comes from just being able to hit
with more people."
Her general fitness has improved and so far this season, few shots have made it past her.
That consistency and improved fitness have allowed Rassel to add variety to her shots,
often fooling opponents with off­speed shots combined with powerful groundstrokes.
While number two Borden, a junior, doesn't have the repertoire of shots Rassel has,
Richey praised her for her consistency. At her match Tuesday, Borden used that
consistency to defeat a player that might have had more power.
"She doesn't beat herself and she can go out there and hit all day," Richey said.
While the Lady Lakers hope to improve on their record Thursday at Waynesville, Rassel
has her eyes set not on just the upcoming dual matches, but beyond.
"I have a goal of making it to state," she said.


On the other side of the lake, the Lady Indians tennis team improved to 2­-1 with a victory
over Waynesville Tuesday. The final score was 5­4.
Osage got off to a solid start in the doubles round, taking two of the three matches.
Seniors Hannah Bashore and Kristina Ruck, playing at number one, won 8­5, as did the
number two team of Courtney Grasshoff and Kaitlyn Ruck.
In singles play, Bashore again won 8­5 along with Kaitlyn Ruck, who blanked her
competition 8­0, and number five Jessi Smith, who was victorious 8­2.
The Lady Indians play at the Boonville tournament Saturday, Sept. 6.