Olympians edge Owls to advance in tournament

By Frank Bonner II

For The Tribune

Seymour swept the the doubles competition at Columbus East in the first round of the Hoosier Hills Conference tournament on Monday, but only winning the doubles battle was not enough to get past the Olympians.

The Owls won the last match of the day at No. 2 doubles, but East already had sealed the deal by sweeping the singles matches to advance with a 3-2 victory.

The Olympians will host Bedford North Lawrence in the semifinals, while Seymour hosts Madison in the consolation round on Wednesday.

“We played (East) once before, and I felt like in some of our matches we played them better tonight,” Seymour coach Jan Fenton said. “It was a close match, but good.”

The Owls’ first point came from Mallory Moore and Avery Ragon at No. 2 doubles when they beat Jenna Shoaf and Ayano Nomura 6-2, 6-0. Seymour (6-6) ended the match on a win, with Madison Pifer and Kristina Griffin taking the No. 1 doubles match against East’s Maddy Rhodes and Emie Kiser.

Pifer and Griffin won the first set 6-4 before the Olympians (8-6) forced the 10-point tiebreaker by taking the second set 6-4. The Owls jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the tiebreaker, but East slowly cut the lead down as the rallies went on. Rhodes and Kiser got within 8-7 before Seymour took the last two points to win the match 10-7 in the tiebreaker.

“That was great. I was glad to see that,” Fenton said. “When we played them last time, we lost in the third set, so it’s great to win the tiebreaker this time. That was good mental toughness, and they work well together.”

The Owls’ Grace Otte fell to Megna Chari 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, and Sandra Cerino lost 6-1, 6-1 to Kathryn Hodzen at No. 2 singles. The Olympians’ winning point came when Louna Prince beat Peyton Levine 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.