O'FALLON, Mo. -- Palmyra's Emma Maples and Kendra Griesbaum are returning to the Class 1 state tournament after beating St. Dominic's Kaylie Meyer and Abigail Worster 6-3, 6-0 in Tuesday's sectional.
Maples, a senior, and Greisbaum, a junior, played together last year and finished eighth in the state. Palmyra coach Jessica Gottman hopes her doubles team gets seeded this year when they travel to the state tournament, which begins Oct. 13 in Springfield, Mo.
Sixteen teams qualify for the state tournament.
"When you get to state, everybody is good," Gottman said. "When you get to the state level, it's difficult because there is such a small showing from the public schools and most of the private schools. It's so hard to compete with a lot of those girls.
"But I always say there's a chance -- it just depends on how they play that day."
Maples and Griesbaum are 14-1 this season, with the only loss to Quincy Notre Dame. Against St. Dominic, the Palmyra tandem found themselves down 2-0 in the first set, but they quickly settled down and won 12 of the next 13 games.
Gottman says Maples and Griesbaum are more comfortable this year with the added experience.
"They don't even had to communicate. They have played together for so long that they always know what each other is doing," Gottman said. "I've said this before, they have a great friendship and they spend a lot of time together outside of tennis. They don't get mad at each other, and it makes a huge difference."
Palmyra's single entry in the sectional, sophomore Amy Bryan, fell to St. Dominic's Abbigail West 6-2, 6-0.
"For her to get a couple of games was great, and she even had a few other games at deuce," Gottman said. "She's our No. 5 player and she played against the No. 1 girl from St. Dominic, so I think Amy did very well."