SEYMOUR — On Friday night, 14th-ranked Columbus North girls tennis team didn’t leave any room for doubt that they’re on the right track.
The Bull Dogs earned their first win of 2017 by spoiling Seymour’s home opener with a 5-0 sweep. That match originally was scheduled for Thursday but was postponed due to rain.
At No. 1 singles, North’s Aubrey Smith didn’t give up a game in the opening set before taking the second 6-2 against Megan Baurle. With a 6-1, 6-0 victory against the Owls’ Katie O’Mara, Madelyn Sanders took the No. 2 singles spot. North’s Yijiang Zhao mirrored Sanders’ score, defeating Kelli Armes 6-1, 6-0 in No. 3 singles play.
Bull Dogs coach Kendal Hammel said that the singles players focused on playing to their own game plans.
“They just hit the ball,” Hammel said. “I have three good, strong singles players. I think they all did a nice job of hitting away on the ball, playing opponents and the wind in situations. They didn’t sit back and play tentatively, but attacked when they needed to in those game situations.”
No. 1 doubles proved the tightest match on the night. North’s Ellen Carson and Shweta Srinivasan won the first set 6-1 before dropping the second 6-4 to Marie Armes and Maddie Pifer. In a third set 10-point super tiebreaker, Carson and Srinivasan came out on top 10-4.
“The biggest thing was not giving up so many errors down the stretch,” Hammel said. “We really beat ourselves in that last game, giving up four points on unforced errors. The focus in the tiebreaker was to not give up shots and beat ourselves. I think that’s what they did.”
The Bull Dogs’ Servane Cloteaux and Eva Chevalier defeated Rachel Collett and Kristina Griffin 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles.
Seymour (1-1) was without two normal varsity starters, who were both out due to illness, which shifted the lineup.
“We had a completely different lineup tonight than what we had on Tuesday (against Jeffersonville),” Owls coach Jennifer Miller said. “Three of the girls didn’t know what position they were playing until today. They came out with positive attitudes and won some points where they could. Columbus North is definitely an experienced team coming back. They definitely showed why they are ranked highly ranked tonight.”
The Bull Dogs (1-1) and Owls could meet again in the postseason, with their sectionals feeding into the same regional.