Columbus East seized control against Seymour in the semifinal round of the Hoosier Hills Conference girls tennis tournament.
The Olympians made quick work of the Owls by securing a 4-1 victory.
East will play in the championship match Friday against New Albany, which defeated Jeffersonville in the other semifinal. The Olympians, who edged longtime nemesis Floyd Central 3-2 in Monday’s opening round, will try for their first HHC title since 1982.
“They took care of business tonight after an emotional win,” East coach Matt Malinsky said. “They came out focused, and it was really easy that we could have had a letdown after such a big win and exciting as it was. We came out ready to play. Our singles took care of business, and 1 doubles, I was pleased with how they pulled the match out.”
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At No. 1 singles, East’s Megna Chari downed Seymour’s Hallie Crenshaw 6-2, 6-2. At No. 2 singles, Adycin Rager of the Olympians topped Megan Baurle 6-0, 6-1. At No. 3 singles, East’s Alaysha Pollert defeated Seymour’s Kelli Armes 6-2, 6-0.
“I stayed consistent the whole match,” Chari said. “I played really loose, stayed consistent and worked on my shot and hit through the ball.”
At No. 1 doubles, another close match ensued between Addie Rudge and Katie O’Mara of Seymour and Kendall Gerken and Kathryn Hodzen of East. Gerken and Hodzen held off all charges that Rudge and O’Mara had to win the first set 7-5. In the second set, it was another close battle, but Gerken and Hodzen held on to win 6-4.
The match of the night belonged to No. 2 doubles between Seymour’s Rachel Collett and Grace Otte and the Olympians’ Carolyn Travis and Maddy Rhodes. Collett and Otte had things in control to take the first set 6-4. Travis and Rhodes stormed back to take the second set 6-2. In the decisive third set, Travis and Rhodes fell 6-3.
“They did a good job at forcing a third set,” Malinsky said. “In third set, a lot of things did not fall our way. Overall, they have done a lot of good things in practice, and they are taking some strides.”
East now turns its attention to New Albany. Floyd Central and New Albany met earlier in the season, with Floyd prevailing in a tight match 3-2.
“We are going to take this match just like we did with Floyd,” Malinsky said. “I’m expecting a tough match, and we have to make sure we’re focused and ready to play from the beginning, which we did with Floyd.”