Lady Cats adjust to wind
There was a pause in play Monday at the North Harrison tennis courts as players on all six courts turned to the American flag at the softball diamond as the Anthem played.
Proof of a windy day may have caused some havoc on the court, but seeing the flag whip to the north at that time toward the football field was a sign of the challenging conditions.
Making necessary adjustments, the girls’ players were able to get in the matches while the threat of rain loomed.
In the end, visiting Lanesville was able to push a three-set match on the No. 1 doubles court but wasn’t able to up-end North Harrison. The Lady Cats went on to win all five varsity courts for a 5-0 triumph for each program’s first match of the spring.
‘It was really windy,’ North Harrison No. 1 singles player Payton Fravel said. ‘It was tough early in each point, but, every time we would switch sides, I’d have to adjust to the wind.’
Fravel struggled a bit early against Lanesville’s Ivy Cooke. Cook took a 2-1 lead in the opening set. Once Fravel found her groove, she took the next five points, capturing set. The second set was all Fravel, who went on to win 6-1.
‘She was pretty good,’ Fravel said of Cooke. ‘We were about the same skill-wise, but she made more errors than I did.’
Dealing with the wind, Fravel said, ‘On one side, I had to hit the ball harder into the wind, then, on the other side, I tried to put more spin on the ball.’
Fravel’s twin sister, Sydney, had little trouble in No. 2 singles action. She swept Lanesville freshman Haley Parsons 6-0, 6-1.
Last season, as freshmen, the Fravel twins had a successful doubles campaign. Splitting up on the court is something Payton doesn’t mind.
‘During the offseason, we both play singles,’ Payton said. ‘Last year, due to me tearing my hip, we played doubles together. It was a lot of fun, but I like singles a lot better.’
Making the singles courts a complete sweep, North Harrison sophomore Lindsey Schumaker beat Megan Husband 6-0, 6-0.
In doubles, the tightest match was No. 1.
Lanesville’s team of senior Maddie Ford and sophomore Abby Wright rolled to a 6-4 first set victory.
The match stayed tight in the second set with North Harrison’s Alison Sieg, a senior, and sophomore Rachel Biddle winning 6-4. As the lone match remaining on the court, Sieg and Biddle snagged the final set, 6-2.
In No. 2 doubles, North Harrison sophomore Sarah Yost and freshman Kelsey Bruce defeated Lanesville sophomore pair Lanna Shaffer and Skyler Blank, 6-1, 6-3.
Both teams rolled out young players for the opener, each having one senior and no juniors. Lanesville senior Elise Lawson sat out the match due to not having enough practices to participate.
‘I think since we are young, and lost all of our seniors, we need to work on things,’ Payton Fravel said of the Lady Cats. ‘Overall, I think our team will be pretty good. We jump into conference with Charlestown and Scottsburg starting tomorrow.’
North Harrison will host Charlestown tomorrow (Thursday), while Lanesville will head to New Washington. The Lady Cats also are slated to play in the New Albany Invitational on Saturday.
North Harrison 5, Lanesville 0
Singles: No. 1 ‘ P. Fravel (NH) def. Cooke 6-2, 6-1; No. 2 ‘ S. Fravel (NH) def. Parsons 6-0, 6-1; No. 3 ‘ Schumaker (NH) def. Husband 6-0, 6-0; Doubles: No. 1 ‘ Biddle/Sieg (NH) def. Ford/Wright 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; No. 2 ‘ Yost/Bruce (NH) def. Shaffer/Blank 6-1, 6-3.