Braves edge Eagles with marathon match victory



Brownstown Central’s Riley Roberts and Austin’s Mayci Furnish battled for more than two and a half hours at No. 3 singles Thursday afternoon.

When the final point was scored, the Braves junior had a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory to give her team a 3-2 win on the windy BCHS courts.

The Mid-Southern Conference victory did not come easy.

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“She has been struggling lately. I think this is the third match in a row she has had to play a three-setter,” Braves coach Erik Stangland said. “This has been a tough week for her. She’s got to get some fundamentals down so that she’s not having to go this long. She had too many shots, and she had to struggle on the easy things and work really hard on the hard ones, but she pulled through. She’s learning. Hopefully, we’ll get that lesson learned in the next couple matches.”

Roberts was 2-1 in the three-setters.

The doubles teams of Rachel Adkins and Carly Brown and Abbie Reynolds and Hannah Hackman picked up the other two points to help the Braves even their MSC mark at 2-2.

Adkins and Brown topped Jessica Spicer and Caitlyn Roberts 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 doubles, and Reynolds and Hackman came up with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Kendra Allen and Gaia Venturi at No. 2.

“No. 2 doubles played especially well,” Stangland said. “I wasn’t sure there for a minute, and then all of a sudden, they surprised us and started really hitting the ball well. They’ve still got to learn to move a little bit, but they’re hitting a lot better than they had been, and it showed. They got off the court quick.

“No. 1, they’re still winning. They’re not getting quite there each time, so it takes them a while. They’re getting the job done, they’re getting a little better each match with different aspects of the game, so we’ve got a lot to look forward to.”

Brownstown’s Olivia Hackman fell 6-1, 6-0 to Jalen Coomer at No. 1 singles, while Maggie Hogan came up short 6-2, 6-2 to Sarah Robbins at No. 2 singles.

“One and two singles did not compete well with the wind,” Stangland said. “The other girls played their game, and our girls struggled, and it showed. I think Olivia at No. 1 will take this as a big lesson and hopefully use it to get ready for next week.

“Maggie has a few fundamental things she’s really got to work on. Right now, it’s the simple, fundamental things, volleying and hitting ground strokes, that are the costing us lots of points. They’re easy points that are making the girls work really hard to finish matches. I think as we go on, we’re going to get better and better.”

The Braves (3-2) will host Brown County on Monday.

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