By Bill Cross
For The Herald Bulletin
ALEXANDRIA, Ind. —
With tennis sectionals a week away, it’s time for teams to build some momentum to finish the year and go in to the postseason ready to capture a title.
For the Alexandria Lady Tigers, Tuesday night’s 3-2 win over Madison-Grant gives them not only a Central Indiana Conference win but a big boost of momentum.
“It’s a really big win for us, this has always been a tight match with them (Madison-Grant),” Alexandria coach Matt DeVault said. The win hinged on two matches and both went to Alexandria as the No. 2 doubles team of Hannah Libler and Shana Kelly along with No. 1 singles player Sarah-Kate Brenner swept their way to wins.
Madison-Grant scored two early wins in the singles bracket with No. 2 Leslie Hudson defeating Abby Matthew 6-1, 6-1 and No.3 Jenna Crume taking a 6-1, 6-2 decision over Danielle Maynard.
The Lady Tigers countered with a 6-1, 6-1, No. 1 doubles win for Allie Hueston and Abbie Miller over Becky Lagle and Kayla Bair. “Abbie and Allie have been phenomenal all year,” DeVault said.
Libler and Kelly scored a 6-2, 6-3 win over Ciara Vetor and Meagan Hall to square the match and leave it up to the No. 1 singles match between Brenner and Madison-Grant’s Kristin Mercker. Brenner took the first set 6-3 and followed with a 6-2 deciding game to win the match.
Brenner was happy with the win, but had no idea the match win was up to her. “I didn’t know it was the deciding factor but I heard people cheering for me, I didn’t know we won until I got off the court.”
“I was very disappointed with our doubles. They did not have the energy that they needed and Alex kind of took it to us,” Madison-Grant coach Tony Pitt said. Pitt was pleased with the play of Hudson and Crume, but is left looking for a spark going into sectionals.
“Honestly it felt like we took two steps back,” Pitt said of his Argylls, who fell to 12-3 and 3-2 in the CIC. “Seems like we peaked a little too early, but we have matches everyday this week and hopefully we can regain the momentum we had going into this match.”
For Alexandria (11-7, 2-2 CIC), the match was a bit of déjà vu according to DeVault. “Last year at this point we kind of made a turn. It’s the time of year to get a little momentum and this is one of those wins we can build on going into sectionals”.
For Brenner, there’s no doubt the Lady Tigers are ready to defend their sectional crown against a tough field. “We’re ready, this game definitely proves it.”
Madison-Grant will host Kokomo today 4:45 p.m., while Alexandria hosts Mt. Vernon on Thursday at 5 p.m.