NH still county’s best in tennis
For the first time in seven years, North Harrison’s girls tennis team did not run the table at Saturday’s Harrison County Tournament. But while the Lady Cats came up one position short of perfection, they still rolled their way to the county championship with 22 points.
South Central was second with 14 , followed by host Corydon Central (10) and Lanesville (4).
There were quality matches aplenty all day long, with six tussles going three sets and several others that could be classified as wars despite what the final score showed.
‘After one team dominates for so long, sometimes interest disappears and it’s hard to get your team feeling like they can win. That wasn’t the case this year,’ Corydon coach Diane Orme said. ‘I think this tournament was a lot more fun because you knew anyone could win. North Harrison still won it, but they had to scratch and claw to get it.’
The only blot on North Harrison’s championship came at No. 1 singles, where Corydon senior Jade Best marked the first win by someone other than a Lady Cat since Lanesville’s Rachel Dyer won at the same position as Best in 1996.
Best tripped up South Central’s Amy Wells, 6-1, 6-2.
At No. 2 singles, it was Ashlee Austin surviving a three-set win over Abby Smitson of Corydon in the first match and then coming away with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over South’s Nikki McGuirk, who was also a three-set winner in her earlier match.
Freshman Bree Shroyer out-dueled South Central’s Amy Jamison at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 7-5.
On the doubles side, Stacy Robertson and Amanda Loughmiller rallied for a three-set win over South Central’s Jessie Saylor and Jenny Babcock, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 1.
At No. 2 doubles, Leah Harmon and Melissa Langdon had what it took to defeat Alicia Nord and Megan Bates.
‘I thought it was possible that we could take every position, but also thought we might drop one singles, maybe even two or three singles,’ Lady Cat coach Pam Pitman said. ‘So, honestly, I could have lost the entire tournament with the exception of two doubles. It was nip and tuck, so to speak.
‘I was very pleased with the level of competition. The other teams had a lot of juniors and seniors in the singles lineups, and it really hurt us, being so young and inexperienced. Somehow we managed to pull it out.’
Pitman pointed out that her squad wound up playing South Central in four of the five draws.
‘They have a strong team this season and a new coach, and they will be a force to deal with for a while to come,’ Pitman said.
As for not coming away with a perfect 25 points because of the play of Corydon’s Best, Pitman offered nothing but praise for the Lady Panther senior: ‘Jade Best had a great tournament and has worked hard and deserves the county title. She is a very solid tennis player.’
In consolation action, Kelsey Pierson was third in No. 1 singles with her 7-5, 7-5 win over Lanesville’s Nikki Cannon. Amanda Senechal of Lanesville earned third place via a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Corydon’s Abby Smitson in No. 2 singles.
The Lade Eagles came through again at No. 3, where Nicole Schmelz came away with third by virtue of her exciting 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 win over Corydon’s Melissa Eckart.
Corydon’s Bridget Gibson and Jessica Goins, who fell in their opening round to eventual the champions from North Harrison, bounced back in their consolation match to trip up Lanesville’s Jessica Schmelz and Tabitha Wernert in three sets, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 1 doubles.
In No. 2 doubles action, South’s Angie Johns and Leslie McCrary were 6-3, 6-4 winners over Lanesville’s Jackie Beach and Kayla Stilger.
South Central’s Nikki McGuirk gave the ball an intense stare at Saturday’s Harrison County Tournament.