Columbus North kept its hopes alive for a possible 24th sectional girls tennis championship in the past 25 years Wednesday, but the Bull Dogs know they’ll have to play better today if they hope to even make the final.
North (8-14) faces undefeated Brown County, while sectional favorite and host Columbus East plays Edinburgh in today’s 4:30 p.m. semifinals. The final is set for 9 a.m. Saturday.
The Bull Dogs advanced with a 5-0 first-round win against Hauser. Three of the matches were over quickly, with Rosemary Yonushonis and Brooke Richardson blanking Erica Bostic and Kiersten Gross 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles; Sydney Anderson and Sarah Vanderkolk downing Sydney Tallent and Clarie Romine 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles; and Paige Littrell knocking off Haley Webster 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1 singles.
“I think I played pretty well,” said Littrell, a freshman. “Hopefully, I’ll pick it up (today), and everything that I did do bad will be better.”
The Jets put up a fight at the other two singles spots. North’s Meagan Olibo beat Ally Drake 6-2, 6-3 at No. 2 singles, and Alex Friend downed Jordan Cain 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.
“Ally is usually very good at being consistent and putting it in play, but actually, I think this was probably one of the best (matches) she’s played,” Hauser coach Elizabeth Rivers said. “She really fought for it.”
“We had some issues,” North coach Kendal Hammel said. “I had one girl have some leg problems (Friend) and had another girl who was I think dehydrated (Olibo) and dealing with not feeling good out there on the court. That sort of caused little situations there, but other than that, we got the three over pretty fast.”
Hauser finishes the season 6-9.
“Hauser is a small school, and we don’t have as many resources as other schools, but I’m still really proud of how all the girls played,” Rivers said. “I’m really proud of their conduct. For what we have, we do really well.”
The Bull Dogs now turn their attention to a Brown County team that they did not play during the regular season.
“I know some of the girls on the team,” Hammel said. “I work with their No. 1 girl (Josie Gray). They’ve had a good season, but I think our competition has been stronger than theirs. Hopefully, that’s going to carry us over.”