Repeat champs: Bull Dogs win another regional crown

BLOOMINGTON — The singles positions have served as the backbone for the Columbus North girls’ tennis lineup all season.

In the Bloomington North Regional championship, they held firm once again.

Sweeping all three singles spots, and also taking No. 2 doubles, the Bull Dogs defeated Seymour 4-1 to repeat as regional champions.

With the victory, North claimed its 19th regional crown.

“It was one of our goals at the beginning of the year,” North coach Kendal Hammel said. “We wanted to get back and have a shot at regional and get back to semistate. It was a nice win. We had beaten Seymour earlier in the season and knew on paper we had the advantage. We still wanted to play with aggressiveness to possibly prepare for the next match.”

On Saturday, the 11th-ranked Bull Dogs (20-4) will play Providence in the Jasper Semistate at noon.

Against Seymour (15-7), North’s Aubrey Smith defeated Hallie Crenshaw 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 singles. At No. 2 singles, Madelyn Sanders topped Megan Baurle 6-2, 6-1 following Yijiang Zhao’s 6-1, 6-0 win against Kelli Armes at No. 3 singles.

Ali Bergman and Eva Chevalier took the final North win at No. 2 doubles, beating Rachel Collett and Grace Otte 6-2, 6-0.

Seymour’s lone victory came at No. 1 doubles, where Addie Rudge and Katie O’Mara edged Servane Cloetaux and Shweta Srinivasan 6-4, 6-2.

Ruge and O’Mara will face Bloomington North’s Isabel Flynn and Lillian McAfee in individual tournament play on Saturday morning.

Flynn and McAfee defeated Columbus East’s No. 1 doubles duo of Kendall Gerken and Kathryn Hodzen 6-2, 6-0 on Thursday, ending their season.

Hammel said that Providence will be a tough test for the Bull Dogs.

“Our three singles spots are the rock of our team, and Providence has two very strong singles players,” he said. “We’re going to have to step it up a little more and play better at those positions to have a shot at that team. That’s why (Providence) is undefeated and ranked No. 4 in the state right now. We just need to find out how to get some spots and make it happen.”