Owls still soaring


Right now, the Seymour girls tennis team is playing at the top of its game.

In six of the team’s seven wins, the Owls have won by 5-0 margins.

The Owls continued their winning ways, only giving up three total games in a 5-0 sweep against visiting Jackson County rival Brownstown Central on Thursday.

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At No. 1 singles, Owls junior Julia Adam defeated Braves freshman Laken Reynolds 6-0, 6-0.

Sophomore Hallie Crenshaw picked up a win for the Owls, 6-0, 6-1, against Braves senior Brooke Hattabaugh.

After dropping the first set, 6-1, to Owls sophomore Megan Baurle, Braves freshman Claire Smith kept the second set close up 2-1. However, Baurle finished strong, taking the next four games, to take the match.

“If (Smith) gets just a little more experience and practice, hopefully she’ll pick up her game,” Braves coach Erik Stangland said. “It would be nice to see her in a couple of years, because she hustles for everything and doesn’t give up. Same at No. 1 singles. Tonight’s going to be a big learning experience for them.”

The No. 1 doubles tandem of senior Karen Dringenburg and junior Lindsey Hume ousted freshman Sydney Cockerham and senior Heidi Martin 6-0, 6-0.

Owls seniors Kennedy Richart and Marley Vehslage downed junior Jordan Trowbridge and freshman Jenny Runge 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles.

For the Braves, Stangland knew that the Owls was one of their toughest matches on the schedule.

“We knew it was going to be one of the toughest teams we’ll see,” Stangland said. “They’re sectional favorites and made it to regional last year. They have gotten better.

“We really do want to play some of these difficult teams. We want a yard stick to find out where we match up. Some of the teams we’ve played haven’t been as good as we would have imagined, but we played them like they were good, so we struggled. Now we’ve seen what a really good team is and realize we can beat several more teams that are with us or below us.”

The Owls have rotated their lineup a few times in the past week, each time resulting in 5-0 wins.

“I think our girls were very focused on executing tonight, that was our goal coming into this match,” Seymour coach Jennifer Miller said. “We did the things we needed to do correctly and work on things we can’t replicate in practice.

“When we can have that match to step their game up by moving them from No. 1 singles to doubles, or doubles to singles, that’s our goal. We don’t have that many opportunities to do that with our schedule. Our goal this week was to have singles get opportunities for net play and doubles to get more ground strokes in.”

With a strong group of girls, the Owls have their eyes set on their tennis program’s first Hoosier Hills Conference. Right now, the Owls are 3-0 in conference play.

The Owls are now riding a five-game winning streak.

“It’s been kind of a challenge to build this program where we want to be, and to have a record of 7-2: there aren’t a lot of teams that can say that,” Miller said. “I think the girls have to be proud of the things we’ve accomplished this early in the season.”

Following the loss, the young Braves squad stands at 2-5.

“Going in (Thursday), we’re playing four freshman at varsity,” Stangland said. “But the girls played the match, and I didn’t see them just give up and get let down. We were trying to get games. We want to see improvement, and this was our test. Silver Creek is usually the test, but this year it’s Seymour. From now to sectional we hope to see improvement.”

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