After opening the girls tennis season with Columbus North the past several years, Columbus East coach Cheryl McGee wanted to get a quality match in before her team plays the Bull Dogs on Monday.
The Olympians picked up a quality opponent in 13th-ranked Bloomington North. East won the No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches Wednesday, but the Cougars took the other three to pull out a 3-2 win.
“We really wanted to start out with somebody as tough as they are and as deep as they are,” McGee said. “We saw some things that we needed to improve on, and we have the season to do it and we’ll be ready for North on Monday.”
The match came down to No. 3 singles, where East’s Risa Mineno and Bloomington North’s Lauren Wicker began their third set just before the fourth match was completed. Wicker claimed a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 victory in a marathon 2½-hour match.
“I think Risa played a wonderful match,” McGee said. “It’s a lot different than what she’s used to playing with the lobs. She stayed in there, and she did a great job. I think it could have gone either way. I think that 10-minute break before the third set kind of got her off her roll.”
Ashlee Hasson and Megan Galle rolled to straight-set wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles. Hasson beat Sarah Coghlan 7-5, 6-2; while Galle downed Taylor Bode 6-0, 6-1.
“They played very, very well,” McGee said. “I’m very proud of the way they took control and played their own game because they were playing two great opponents. In order to win when you’re playing somebody that tough, you have to play your own game, and they both did an excellent job of doing so.”
Bloomington North (2-0) cruised in both doubles matches, with Megan Coghlan and Megan Gardner downing Lauren Champion and Alexa Husmann 6-1, 6-0 and Nicole Ortiz-Belle Douglas topping Amanda Sun and Amanda Hashimoto 6-1, 6-3.
“We really wanted to play Columbus East,” Bloomington North coach Barb Mills said. “We were hoping to play them this year in the (Jeffersonville) tournament, but we can’t go. When we found that out, I immediately had our athletic director call and see if we could get a match with Columbus East. Their singles are very tough.”
“I am very confident that if we play like we did, we should have a good shot at North,” McGee said. “Doubles has some things that we need to fix before Monday, and I think we will. I think it’s easily fixable. Singles, if they can keep focused like they have been, then they’re going to be tough to beat.”