7 In a Row / Bull Dogs blank Lancers for another sectional title

Columbus North’s Ashlie Wilson accepts the sectional championship trophy from North athletics director Brian Lewis at Columbus North High School in Columbus, Ind., Friday, May 22, 2021. North defeated Edinburgh to win the sectional title. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

Edinburgh was riding a hot streak coming into Friday’s girls tennis sectional final after avenging regular season losses to both Hauser on Wednesday and Columbus East on Thursday.

The Lancers were no match for host and fifth-ranked Columbus North.

The Bull Dogs gave up only one game in the five matches and captured their seventh straight sectional title with a 5-0 victory. Columbus North moves on to face Bloomington North on Tuesday in the Bloomington South Regional Semifinal.

“I’d like to give credit to Edinburgh. To lose to those teams in the regular season, and then to come back, that was nice wins for them, no doubt about it,” North coach Kendal Hammel said. “They were overmatched with our players versus their players, but they did a great job getting there. If anything, I was pleased we didn’t let down in any of our games.”

Edinburgh coach Rachel O’Brien was pleased with how her team finished the season strong. It was also the first time in her coaching career to make it to the sectional final.

The Lancers finish the season 7-11.

“We turned it around after losing to Hauser and Columbus East in the regular season, and then beating them and getting here, we were at our high. It was nice,” O’Brien said. “We definitely finished stronger than when we started, for sure.”

Ashlie Wilson topped Annelise Lollar 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. Kathryn Wilson downed Bethany Burton 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles. Siri Poludasu defeated Jessica Walsh 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles.

At No. 1 doubles, Jaline Tay and Tiffany Fu defeated Peyton Bryant and Alyssa Funkhouser 6-0, 6-1. At No. 2 doubles, Leah George and Sydney Cooper won against Gracie Myers and Zoey Sida 6-0, 6-0.

Ashlie Wilson said it felt good getting back and playing for a sectional crown after not having a chance to play last year due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s really fun just being a part of the team, and going through this experience with everyone else,” she said.

Edinburgh loses Lollar, but will return the rest of the lineup next year, and it hopes to make it back to the sectional final.

“We’re all coming back, so we’ll have a lot of seniors next year,” O’Brien said. “We’ll do some work over the summer, and we’ll be better next year.”

The Bull Dogs (17-2) now will turn their attention to Bloomington North, who they defeated 5-0 last month. The winner will play in the regional final on Wednesday.

Columbus North will be the heavy favorite to make it out as the regional champion.

“We’ve played Bloomington North before, so we should be OK there,’ Hammel said. “Honestly, Seymour gave us a little bit of a push. So we’ve got to be ready for Seymour, too. I don’t think we will (look ahead). This team will take it one match at a time and get themselves ready for that next match each time after that.”

Ashlie Wilson said the team has to be motivated and ready to play next week.

“We’ll have to practice hard until then and also be cheering for everybody and making sure everyone is motivated and ready to go,” she said. “We’ll play our game and be confident.”