By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
ALEXANDRIA, Ind. —
In what already figured to be a tight match, the wind blew in and made the outcome of the tennis sectional match even more in doubt.
At the end of the afternoon Wednesday, Alexandria topped Lapel 4-1, but with two matches going three sets, the final verdict could have been 3-2 in any direction.
At No. 2 doubles, Alexandria’s Shanna Kelly and Danielle Maynard defeated Lapel’s Kaitlin Dobbins and Meg Fields 6-3 in the opening set. But the Bulldogs’ duo bounced back with a 7-5 win in the next set, winning the tie-breaker 7-5.
“I was proud of our No. 2 doubles team,” said Alexandria coach Matt DeVault. “They were playing against the team that played at No. 1 doubles against us in the county (tourney). We were able to hang right in there.”
In the third set they did more than that. The Kelly/Maynard pairing won the third set 6-4.
That win came just after the Tigers had clinched the team win at No. 1 singles where Sarah-Kate Brenner rallied from a set down to defeat Lexi Allen 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
“She came out and was hitting it hard,” said Brenner, who is known for her ability to return almost anything hit over the net. “After that first set, I had to scoot back.”
“By moving back, she had a little more time to react to the shot and that made a lot of difference,” said DeVault.
The wind altered the strategy of some of the players as it rolled through cross court from west to east.
“I have always thought I played pretty well in the wind,” said Brenner. “We practice in it and we play in it. It doesn’t bother me.”
What can, on occasion, bother her is knowing the score in the match.
“I just try to focus on each point,” said Brenner. “I try not to look over at the other matches. If I do and I see we’re losing, then I might think ‘Well I’m losing because this other player is better than I am.’ But if we’re winning, then I might make an extra push to win too.”
The Tigers will play Frankton on the Alexandria courts in the second round today at 4:30 p.m. The finals are set for the Highland Junior High courts at 4:30 on Friday.