Seymour defeats BNL, advances in HHC Tournament

Keep it in the purple. That’s the simple yet effective strategy that Brooke Schafstall often hears when she’s competing at number one singles.

If you keep it in the purple, you’re keeping it in play on Seymour’s home courts, and Schafstall didn’t falter too much by hitting outside the purple.

As a result, she was able to get a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Bedford North Lawrence’s Rachel Kidd.

Some of Schafstall’s down-the-line shots weren’t staying within the purple, so she adjusted, using more cross-court shots to keep the ball in play and keep her opponent moving.

“It kept more balls in play,” Schafstall said. “I went to the net a couple times and it worked out pretty well. My serves were pretty good this time. I didn’t double fault this time so that was good.”

Schafstall was one of four points the Owls got on the day over BNL, winning 4-1 to advance to the second round of the Hoosiers Hill Conference Tournament.

Sandy Cerino defeated Emily Duncan at two singles 6-1, 6-1, and Kirby Hill was the first one off the court after beating Becca Eppins 6-1, 6-0. After the match, head coach Sharon Wood and the team applauded Hill for being the first one done with her match on Monday.

“Three singles is usually what we call the crockpot, slow-cooker, you’re cooking all day to try to get either a win or a loss,” Wood said. “So to have your three singles step up and be the first player off the court is very unusual in tennis, so we were proud of Kirby. She’s been working on winners a lot in practice.”

As for the doubles, Madalyn Baurle and Elise Hartung defeated Kenley Craig and Izzy Alldrege 7-5, 6-1 at two doubles.

In one doubles, Seymour’s Avery Ragon and Mallory Moore and BNL’s Mallory Pride and Bella Stigall battled in a three-set, two-and-a-half hour match that saw Stigall and Pride come away with the win 3-6, 7-5, 7-5.

“Avery and Mallory are both fighters,” Wood said. “They are not going to give up. They are going to take any challenge presented to them. Probably tonight they’re going to go home and feel a little sad for themselves, but they’re going to come back with that true Seymour spirit and know that their team needs them.”

Wood believes Ragon and Moore will bounce back as they plan to work on finishing shots at the net a bit more ahead of their next match. Wood said they’re going to need that one doubles point going forward, especially on Wednesday.

Seymour will have a tall task ahead of them in the second round of the HHC Tournament as they will take on Floyd Central on the road on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Floyd Central is currently ranked No. 23 in the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association top-30 poll.

Floyd Central is often the top team in the HHC, and this year, Wood believes she has the talent and depth to go toe-to-toe with them.

“Our motivation is we’re team that has been working a lot of years since middle school to really build a well-rounded team to have depth,” Wood said. “We want to be able compete in our conference. I think that mindset of we want to play a team that’s good, we want to play a team that’s been very successful in the conference, and we want that to be us. We want to be the Floyd Central of the Hoosier Conference tennis world.”