Owls tough vs. New Albany but can’t find win


While the final point totals didn’t go Seymour’s way, the teams knows that they can hang with one of the top teams in the Hoosier Hills Conference.

The Owls (3-5) fell to New Albany 4-1 on Tuesday, but held tough in multiple positions.

At No. 1 doubles, the Owls tandem of senior Alex Berry and junior Ty McCory battled with Nathan Johnson and Rohan Reddy.

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In a tiebreaker in the opening set, Berry and McCory went back-and-forth with the Bulldogs duo.

Up 10-9, McCory sealed the final point with a volley that slammed into Johnson at the net.

The second set again went to a tiebreak after the Owls climbed out of a 5-4 deficit.

Berry and McCory built a 4-0 advantage before taking the second set 7-5 in the tiebreaker.

“I was really proud of the No. 1 doubles tonight,” Owls coach Jennifer Miller said. “We had a gameplan and knew what we needed to do get a win. I felt like Alex and Ty worked well together to do that. I think that Alex does a nice job of leading on the court — he sees the court well. Once the point is established they can dictate the point.”

At No. 3 singles, the Owls’ Jonathan Valasquez won the opening set 7-5 before dropping the next tow 6-1, 6-1.

In the No. 2 singles spot, the Bulldogs’ Nolan Keeler took the first set 6-1 before Adam Berry took a 3-0 advantage in the second.

Berry couldn’t muster a comeback, as Keeler would finish-out at 6-4.

Seymour’s Grant Handloser fell to Logan Charbonneau — who made it all the way to the state quarterfinals in the individual tournament for 2013 — 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles.

The Owls team of Johnny Rennekamp and Isaac Hardin fell to Logan Conrad and Ryan Robinson 6-0, 6-2 in No. 2 doubles action.

“(New Albany) is a top-30 team (in the state) and we knew coming in they were incredibly strong at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles,” Miller said. “I felt like we played with them within the game even though the scorecards might have not reflected it.”

Miller has changed her lineup for HHC matches this season.

“We still are not really set at a solid lineup across the singles and doubles,” Miller said. “Our level of ability to match up differently with our opponents is something that I’ve had to look at and see where our strongest lineup is. With our conference opponents, doubles is definitely a strength for them. We need to compete in doubles and try and steal a point in singles.”

Seymour has a long road ahead of them before they host the sectional on Sept. 28.

The Owls will not play at home in the three weeks span, and will play all three of their HHC Tournament matches on the road.

On Sept. 19, the Owls play at New Albany in the first round of the HHC.

“I’ve never been in the position where we’ve had to play so many matches on the road in a row — especially in conference to close-out the season,” Miller said. “Our focus needs to be getting our varsity ready to play all these matches, keeping practices short and focusing on the things we need to moving forward.”

Alex Berry, Handloser, Rennekamp, Valasquez, Andrew Hoene, Tanner Mead, Dylan Putman and Tyler Wilson were honored as the team’s seniors after the match on Tuesday.

“We have a really dynamic group of seniors,” Miller said. “A few have played for four years and one that its his first year out. I had had five of them as sixth graders, so I’ve known them since they were pretty young. It’s nice to have that final season with them knowing that they’re all great kids.”

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