Prep Girls Tennis

As coach waits on baby, QND delivers victory

Quincy High School's Olivia Clayton returns a shot during Monday's tennis match against Quincy Notre Dame at the Greeman Tennis Center in Reservoir Park. | H-W Photo/Mat Mikesell
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 11, 2018 1:20 am Updated: Sep. 11, 2018 2:09 am

QUINCY -- Ben Klingner knows he could be getting a special phone call at any moment.

The Quincy Notre Dame girls tennis coach and his wife, Megan, are expecting their birth of their first child, who is already three days past the due date.

"It's kind of nerve wracking," Klingner said. "I told (QND athletic director Bill Connell) before the season that it could come up. I'm fortunate Theresa Quintero is my assistant, and she can take over and be my insurance policy."

That call didn't come Monday afternoon, but the Raiders did deliver a 6-3 victory over crosstown rival Quincy High School at the Greeman Tennis Center in Reservoir Park.

"It's big because, of course, the rivalry, but they're big competitors for us," QND's Abigail Ley said. "It was good to get this."

The Raiders' experience was the difference. QND graduated just two seniors and returned five of its top seven players from last season, while QHS has four newcomers at the varsity level this season.

The Raiders are 3-0 in dual matches thus far.

"We've got a pretty solid team, and we have a lot of chemistry," Ley said. "You can't come in too confident, but we had a good idea of what to expect this season."

Ley won her No. 3 singles match against Taylor Kruse 6-2, 6-3 by not letting her opponent feel comfortable.

"I was moving around a lot and hitting hard shots," Ley said. "That's kind of how you attack an inexperienced player."

Klingner saw that aggressive play throughout the Raiders' lineup, which led to some lopsided scores. Allison Steinkamp didn't drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Emily Klinner at No. 5 singles. Ali Tracy defeated Katarina Urtiakapa 6-2, 6-3 at No. 4 singles.

"You never know if the emotions will get the best of you, and I thought we did a really good job of that today," Klingner said. "We won the first matches pretty handily, and that plays well because you can keep the momentum."

QHS won the top two singles matches. Olivia Clayton won her No. 1 match against Clair Moore 6-1, 6-2, and Isabella Trinh defeated Jamie Steinkamp 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles. Clayton and Trinh then teamed up to beat Clayton and Abigail Ley 7-6 (7-1), 7-5 in doubles play.

"It's different than it has been the past few years because I'm not used to being the person that's been on varsity the longest," Clayton said. "But it's still been fun. I really enjoy getting to know the girls."

Clayton and Trinh, the only Blue Devils with varsity experience prior to this fall, grinded out a tough doubles victory.

"We've been growing a lot because we're moving a lot better," Clayton said. "We're just getting to know each other more as doubles players and knowing each other's shots. We just need to find our rhythm early on, because we were making a lot of unforced errors."


Quincy Notre Dame 6, Quincy High School 3


Olivia Clayton (QHS) d. Clair Moore 6-1, 6-2

Isabella Trinh (QHS) d. Jamie Steinkamp 6-1, 6-2

Abigail Ley (QND) d. Taylor Kruse 6-2, 6-3

Ali Tracy (QND) d. Katarina Uritakapa 6-2, 6-3

Allison Steinkamp (QND) d. Emily Klinner 6-0, 6-0

Olivia Ley (QND) d. Emma Staff 6-3, 6-4


Clayton/Trinh d. Moore/A. Ley 7-6 (7-1), 7-5

A. Steinkamp/J. Steinkamp d. Staff/Kruse 6-2, 6-0

Tracy/O. Ley d. Klinner/Urtiakapa 6-1, 6-2