Tennis teams ready for match play this week


Coming off a regional finals appearances last spring, the Seymour girls tennis team will look a little differently this season.

The Owls graduated a number of contributing seniors from last year, so their lineup will feature new combinations.

One constant, however, will be Brooke Schafstall at No. 1 singles. Schafstall spent all of her sophomore year at the top singles spot, as well.

“I think she’s going to be a little more comfortable,” head coach Sharon Wood said. “Brooke has done everything we’ve asked her to do in the offseason. We’re looking forward to a really great, great season from her.”

Aside from that, the Owls could have different players in different spots depending on their matchup. For example, Madalyn Baurle and Elise Hartung, who played two doubles with one another last season, will likely both spend time in singles and doubles this season.

“We’re a team and our players are willing to play wherever we need them to in order for us to get three points for a win,” Wood said. “The good thing is we have Madalyn Baurle and Elise Hartung, who can both play singles and doubles.”

After a week of challenge matches, Wood thinks Seymour can roll with a mix of experienced players and younger players in the doubles positions to best maximize their ability to get three points.

The Owls start their season Tuesday against Jeffersonville. Seymour added Franklin and Shelbyville to its schedule this season, and Wood hopes the tougher schedule helps Seymour improve at a quicker pace.

“We need to see that ball coming at us faster,” Wood said. “All of those teaching moments and learning moments, we hope those experiences are going to pay off for us in the postseason.”

The Trinity Lutheran tennis team begins its season today at Austin and will also play Tuesday at Southwestern (Hanover).

Senior Sarah Lemming will be back at No. 1 singles for the Cougars.

“She’s a lot more aggressive,” head coach Julie Lemming said. “She’s coming to the net more. She’s worked in the offseason, and I think that’s going to benefit her this year.”

At No. 2 singles, Lemming has Drew Hubbard, who started out at doubles last spring before moving to three singles.

“In our challenge matches, she has been consistent,” Lemming said. “She has earned her No. 2 spot. We feel good about her being there. If she can maintain her mental grips, we feel she’ll do well in the No. 2 spot.”

Gabby Bleier slots in at three singles for Trinity, and she’s a transfer student from California with tennis experience.

Kiley Zabel and Ella Christopher will team at one doubles to start the year, and Carson Bowling and Natalee Martinez will team at two doubles.

After graduating four seniors, Lemming was concerned about how they would fill a varsity roster this spring. But from returnees and recruiting some volleyball players, the Cougars have a solid lineup.

“Just watching them in practice, you can see the athletic prowess rise to the surface,” she said. “They are eager and determined.”

Also kicking off its tennis season this week is Brownstown Central, which hosts Charlestown at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Brownstown is coached by Erik Stangland, and the Braves return most of their production from a season ago.

Ava McKinney got a lot of run at No. 1 singles last season as a freshman, and she will be back at that spot this year as a sophomore.

Seniors Hannah Hackman and Chelsea Luedeman were one doubles partners last spring, and the two Braves advanced to regional. Hackman was the team MVP last season and also earned all-Mid-Southern Conference honors.

Emily Mann, Lexi Satterthwaite and Jenna Bolte are also key returnees who competed in sectional last year for the Braves.

After the opener tomorrow, Brownstown will also be at home on Thursday for a MSC conference matchup against Salem at 5 p.m.

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