BLOOMINGTON — Columbus North’s girls tennis team was knocking on the door of a Conference Indiana championship but came up a few volleys short in a 3-1 loss to Terre Haute South.

No. 1 singles did not finish the third set because of darkness, but the ninth-ranked Braves already had sealed the win after earning the third point.

Terre Haute South took the first point after No. 11 North’s Shweta Srinivasan and Servane Cloteaux fell 6-2, 6-0 to Pamela Dorman and Breanna Rogers at No. 1 doubles.

The Braves took their second point a No. 2 singles after Lauren Rowe of beat Madelyn Sanders 6-3, 6-1. The remaining three matches were a tossup, with all three going to three sets.

“I knew it was going to be a close match,” North coach Kendal Hammel said. “On paper, from what I observed, it was going to be close in the singles positions. And the doubles, I didn’t know how it was going to fly.”

Freshman Ali Bergman and Eva Chevalier found themselves in another close match trying to keep the Bull Dogs (16-4) alive. They lost the first set 7-5 to Hunter Duncan and Jeny Bai but came back to win the second set 6-4 and the third set 7-6 to cut the team score to 2-1.

North’s Yijiang Zhao beat Lily Yeagley 6-3 in the first set at No. 3 singles, but started cramping through the second set. Yeagley managed to beat her 7-5 to force a third set. Zhao was drinking a lot of Gatorade and even ate a banana to try and stop the cramping in her leg. She gutted it out to finish the match but lost the third set 6-4 to give Terre Haute South the win.

“Maybe it was because of her foot, but she did not hit the ball like she needed to,” Hammel said. “I think that hurt her down the stretch.”

Aubrey Smith beat Erin Friedrich 7-6 in the first set and dropped the second 7-5. She was down 1-0 in the third set before the match was called.

“They were up 3-1, so it wouldn’t have mattered,” Hammel said. “It wasn’t going to make a difference in the for the team score, and it was getting too dark. I know Aubrey hated it. She was mad because she wanted to finish this match.”

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Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.