Owls blank Cougars to capture sectional title


Friday evening was the icing on the cake for the 29th-ranked Seymour girls’ tennis team.

The Owls, coming off a huge week just one week ago, winning three matches against Bedford North Lawrence, Floyd Central and New Albany to win the Hoosier Hills Conference title, needed to refocus this week to win three more matches to be crowned sectional champions.

Seymour did just that, and it did so in impression fashion. Austin on Wednesday? 5-0 Seymour win. Scottsburg on Thursday? 5-0 in favor of the Owls. Trinity Lutheran Friday? 5-0 to give Seymour the sectional championship.

“This is kind of like icing on the cake,” head coach Sharon Wood said. “We came off that big high of winning conference, so it was hard to get refocused to be ready for goal number two, but they certainly rose to the occasion.”

First off the court for Seymour was Kirby Hill at three singles and Madalyn Baurle and Elise Hartung at number two doubles. Hill defeated Drew Hubbard 6-1, 6-0, and Baurle/Hartung beat Erin Enzinger and Addison Bumbleburg 6-0, 6-0.

The match-clinching point for the Owls came from the one doubles team of Mallory Moore and Avery Ragon after they defeated Katelyn Mensendiek and Kiley Zabel 6-0, 6-2.

“It feels good,” Moore said. “All of our hard work finally paid off, so it feels nice.”

Moore said it always starts in practice for the Owls, and the team came to practice earlier this week and were locked in to getting better and practicing hard to make sure they were prepared to accomplish their goals.

“I think we played more aggressive, especially the first set, getting that 6-0 win,” Moore said. “Just kind of knew our shots, played well at the net and just kind of stayed on top.”

The Owls got two more points at one and two singles to complete the 5-0 sweep. Sandy Cerino was first off with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Regan Cain at two singles.

Brooke Schafstall closed it out with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Sarah Lemming at one singles.

We practice at game speed,” Wood said. “Our team shows up every day willing to give 110 percent, and that paid off. We’ve been preaching that all season.”

As for Trinity, Friday marked the end of the season for the Cougars, who finished with an overall record of 9-8.

It was the first year at the helm for head coach Julie Lemming, and she was proud of her team for making it to the sectional championship this season.

”I’m extremely pleased with the way our season went,” Lemming said. “We worked hard, and I don’t think we thought at the beginning that we would be here. There’s zero shame in losing to a team like Seymour. They’re solid across the board. The growth that we’ve experienced means a lot to me.”

Lemming thinks Friday’s match and the season as a whole will hopefully give the Cougars some experience and momentum heading into next season, as players like Sarah Lemming, Drew Hubbard and Kiley Zabel will all be returning.

”I hope to build the program, that is certainly my goal,” Lemming said.

As for the Owls, they will march on to Bloomington South next Tuesday to take on whoever comes out of the Greensburg sectional in the first round of regionals.

As Wood said, Friday’s sectional title was the icing on the cake, but the cool thing about the metaphorical cake for Seymour tennis is there’s multiples layers of icing the Owls are looking to add as they head into next week.

“We know that we’re up there with those teams. We’re not coming down as underdogs, we can compete” Moore said. “Moving forward, we just stay focused and keep playing the game we have worked so hard for, and we can go compete next week.”

“We’re not done with our goals,” Wood said. “Our goal is to get to that regional and get to that final of that regional.”

No posts to display