Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 21, 2017

Trojans are champions

By ALLAN MANDELL, Ledger sports editor | May 09, 2017
Photo by: CHRIS FAULKNER, FT. MADISON DAILY DEMOCRAT Dayna Price competes for Fairfield on Monday in Fort Madison.


The only thing Fairfield sophomore Anatta Charoenkul lost on Monday morning was some sleep.

She didn’t lose any tennis matches.

In fact, Charoenkul didn’t lose a single game en route to capturing the 2017 Southeast Conference No. 1 singles championship.

“We had to wake up early,” she said. “We had to leave our school at 6:45. So, on the bus ride, at first, we were all half-asleep.

“But by the time we got off that bus, we were giving each other pep talks.”

Whatever it was the members of the Trojans said to each other worked.

Led by Charoenkul, Dayna Price, Cami Schaefer and Ashley Pool, the Fairfield Trojans captured the overall 2017 Southeast Conference title with 19 points. Keokuk was runner-up (15), followed by host Fort Madison (11) and Mt. Pleasant (9).

“Our whole team worked so hard for this,” Charoenkul said. “We kept adding up the points as the day went on and, finally, when we won the championship, we were jumping up and down.”

Charoenkul made quick work of her foes in singles. She beat Mt. Pleasant’s Meagan Sutherland 8-0 and Keokuk’s Jakala Hall 8-0 to secure her singles crown.

“Well,” said Price with a chuckle, “Anatta finishes things so fast the rest of us never get to watch her play singles. But she is our team’s anchor. We’re so confident in her.”

And Price’s teammates are confident in Price, a senior.

Price won the No. 2 singles championship by defeating Keokuk’s Madison Etter (9-8) and Fort Madison’s Kearstyn Johnson (8-4).

“Dayna winning her championship wasn’t a surprise to us at all,” Charoenkul said. “She’s been hitting so well all year.”

Like Charoenkul, this was the second consecutive year Price has captured an SEC singles title.

“I knew I had a target on my back this year,” Price said. “But, fortunately, I was hitting well today.”

Price defeated Etter in the title match in 2016.

“I did remind myself that I had beaten her last year just before we got started today,” Price said. “And then I made sure to completely forget about last year’s match and just concentrate on what I needed to do today.”

Playing at No. 3 singles, Schaefer won her title by defeating Fort Madison’s Hope Gray (8-3) and Keokuk’s Lauren Hasselbusch (8-4).

This was the second consecutive season Schaefer won a singles title.

“This year,” said Price, “Cami defied the odds.”

Schaefer was seeded No. 4 in her bracket.

“And then Cami went out and beat the No. 1 seed right away and took the whole thing,” said Trojan head coach Heidi Grunwald.

Trojan Anna Beasley was runner-up in No. 5 singles, defeating Fort Madison’s Mercedee Dory (9-8) to advance to the title match.

Pool won the crown at No. 6 singles, defeating Fort Madison’s Charissa Smith (8-4) and Mt. Pleasant’s Sheyanne Walter (8-6).

“Ashley Pool really stood out to me at No. 6 today,” Charoenkul said. “She was hitting unbelievable shots.”

Charoenkul teamed up with Hermela Gebremariam to win the No. 1 doubles crown. They defeated Fort Madison (8-2) and Mt. Pleasant (8-2).

This was the second consecutive season Fairfield captured the overall SEC championship.

“Both titles were nice to win,” Price said. “But this year there was more pressure on us so this win today was really special.”

Grunwald was thrilled.

“Today was a great day!” she beamed. “The girls really played well, especially at singles. To take first place in four of the six singles positions was awesome.”


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