Lady Cats make it a cool dozen at county tourney
Early-morning fog and a couple of wet courts delayed the start of the Harrison County Tennis Tournament at Lanesville on Saturday. With squeegees in tow, North Harrison’s workhorse tennis team made quick work of helping dry the playing surface, then it promptly went out and laid claim to the county championship.
Underneath clear blue skies and temperatures in the 70s (it was in the 40s last year), the Lady Cats picked up four firsts and a third en route to a 21-point afternoon. It was the team’s 12th consecutive county title and the first for 1st-year coach Dana Striegel.
Corydon Central was second in the team standings with 21 points, followed by Lanesville with five points and South Central with three.
At No. 1 singles and in a rematch of last year’s final, North’s Kelsey Pierson gutted out a marathon, three-set victory over Megan Bates of Corydon Central, 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.
The two opponents were so evenly matched that they probably could have played the rest of the afternoon and no one would have cared. When they met on the courts in a regular-season matchup recently, it also went three sets, with Pierson again winning.
‘That was a tough one to call,’ Corydon coach Jeff Smitley said. ‘Megan was really on top of her game. If she hadn’t played four-and-a-half or five hours, at least, and could have kept her spring, there very easily could have been a different outcome.’
Pierson knocked off South’s Tammy McGuirk in the opening round, 6-4, 6-2, with Bates taking a three-set win over Lanesville’s Jessica Schmelz, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
At No. 2 singles, defending county champ Stacy Robertson picked up a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Corydon’s Jeanne Hood; and at No. 3 it was Bree Shroyer racing past Lanesville’s Kayla Stilger, 6-1, 6-0.
The final championship for the Lady Cats came at No. 2 doubles, where Leah Harmon and Wynn Shroyer knocked off Corydon’s Nicole Forbes and Kylie Hall, 6-0, 6-1.
At No. 1 doubles, defending champions from North ‘ Megan Dean and Amanda Loughmiller ‘ finished in third place, defeating Lanesville’s duo of Jamie Phelps and Caroline Turcotte.
Bethany Shewmaker and Jill Hoehn of Corydon Central had the easiest championship bout of the day, picking up a forfeit victory at No. 1 doubles from South Central’s Kate Hanus and Kristin Kaiser.
‘I was very pleased with the girls’ play. I thought they rebounded well after a tough week-and-a-half. We had a couple of revenge matches, you might say,’ Smitley said. ‘Shewmaker and Hoehn got beat by North Harrison’s team on the 11th, so it was good for their confidence to come out and get that one. Also, Bates beating Jessica Schmelz after losing to her on the 17th. Both were huge rebounds.’
The Lady Rebels, who forfeited the consolation round at nearly every position, were unable to take part in the final due to the school’s prom being held that evening.
The lone exception was McGuirk, who fell to Schmelz, 6-0, 6-1, in the third-place match at No. 1 singles. Also, South’s Samantha Barbagallo played one consolation set against Lanesville’s Tabitha Wernert and fell 6-1 before forfeiting the second set at No. 2 singles.
Lanesville’s top finish on the doubles courts came at No. 2, where Katie Guihan and Nicole Melton placed third with a forfeit win against South’s Savannah LaClair and Sarah Kincaid.
‘My team doesn’t appear to be made up of ‘morning people,” Lanesville coach Sharon Rothrock joked. ‘We had a really slow start. There’s always next year.’
In earlier action: No. 2 singles ‘ Hood shut out South’s Samantha Barbagallo, 6-0, 6-0; and Robertson was a 6-0, 6-2 victor over Wernert. No. 3 singles ‘ Shroyer blanked Jodie Spencer, 6-0, 6-0; and Stilger out-slugged Corydon’s Katie McGraw, 6-4, 6-2. No. 1 doubles ‘ The Lady Rebel duo of Kate Hanus and Kristin Kaiser won an even match against Lanesville’s Phelps and Turcotte, 6-4, 6-3; Hoehn and Shewmaker edged North’s Dean and Loughmiller, 6-3, 6-4, after falling to the duo in the regular-season meeting. No. 2 doubles ‘ It took three sets for Forbes and Hall of Corydon to rally past South’s LaClair and Kincaid, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3; Harmon and Wynn Shroyer blanked Lanesville’s Katie Guihan and Nicole Melton, 6-0, 6-0.