Focused Bull Dogs blank Olympians

With four matches in four days this week, the Columbus North girls tennis team realizes the importance of remaining focused for each match.

The Bull Dogs didn’t have any trouble with that on Tuesday. They didn’t drop more than a game in any set in posting a 5-0 win against Columbus East.

“I think the team as a whole played a good match,” North senior Rosemary Yonushonis said. “We have a really big week with four matches. Everyone played well, and we’re happy with how we’re doing.”

Yonushonis set the pace for the 17th-ranked Bull Dogs (8-4) with a 6-0, 6-0 win against Carol Travis at No. 3 singles. Yonushonis has been shuttling between No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles and played No. 2 doubles in Monday’s 3-2 loss at Bloomington North.

“It’s fun getting to play multiple spots, but it’s also difficult because you have to adjust your game completely,” Yonushonis said. “But we’re trying to figure out the best positions for everyone to get some wins.”

North’s Aubrey Smith beat AJ Pollert 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, and Paige Littrell downed Adycin Rager 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles. Meagan Olibo and Madelyn Sanders topped Kate Fox and Paige Webb 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles, and Brooke Richardson and Yijaing Zhao beat Megan Newton and Lauren Graham 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles.

“We knew what tonight was going to be,” East coach Cheryl McGee said. “We knew we were playing an awesome team, but we talked about what we were going to do and no one gave up.

“They were not just hitting the ball back,” she said. “They were trying to get the shots, they were trying to put them away. They did exactly what we told them to do. Every point was important, and they were doing what they could to win points.”

The Olympians (1-9) have been playing without standout senior Megan Galle, who has a broken right pinky finger. Galle possibly could return for Thursday’s match at Greenwood.

“I know East is rebuilding this year, plus they’re missing their No. 1 player, so we knew it was just a matter of going out and playing some tennis and getting what we can out of the match,” North coach Kendal Hammel said. “They have some players that are going to be decent down the road, but right now, this is a tough year for them.”

“Not one of these girls that are playing for us right now plays in the offseason,” McGee said. “These are girls from other sports that decided to step up and play tennis, and we’ve come so far from the first day of practice. These are all freshman and sophomores, and I’m pleased that all of them have improved their game and they did their best with a really strong team.”

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.