It was a lot tougher than some thought it would be, but the Terre Haute South girls tennis team won the Greencastle regional for the second year in a row Wednesday evening at DePauw University Tennis and Track Center.
South earned the 3-2 victory over Crawfordsville when Miranda Camp and Nicole Howe won the No. 1 singles match 7-5, 6-2 over Mia and Lizzy Katenzberger.
“It’s come down to us quite a few times and usually we pull it out for the team,” Camp said.
South now advances to the semistate at Center Grove High School on Saturday for a 10 a.m. match.
With the win, South (12-5) put bookends on Crawfordsville’s season 17-2 season. The Braves beat the Athenians at the beginning of the season.
South coach Bill Blankenbaker admitted the match was tighter than he expected.
“Their No. 1 doubles played good. I wish we could have done a few other things, but their No. 1 doubles played good. [Our] two doubles played good. Lauren [Hambrock] played very well at one single. And [Crawfordsville’s] two and three singles played good. I thought we really could have done something there,” Blankenbaker said.
South’s Lauren Hambrock got off to a fast start and never looked back, winning 6-0, 6-1 over Crawfordsville’s Kassidy Bonebrake.
“I felt I played pretty well. I could have played better. I played [Bonebrake] earlier in the season and it was about the same [results] as it was today,” Hambrock said.
But Hambrock was the only South player to start fast. Crawfordsville’s Hannah Chalmers defeated South’s Jordan Davis 6-1, 6-1 at No. two singles and the Athenians’ Destynee Nelson topped Sofia Saylor 6-4, 6-1.
Meanwhile, on court four, South’s Camp and Howe were struggling through the first set.
“I think it just took us a while to get into a groove with each other and then after a while we started playing together and clicking,” Camp said.
On court five, South’s No. 2 doubles team of Shivani Purohit and Courtney Sheets downed Crawfordsville’s Emma Heinhold and Elizabeth Flynn 6-2, 6-3. The score was tied 2-2.
“I was glad to have a senior [Camp] and a junior [Howe] in there at last and they pulled it out,” Blankenbaker said.
With Crawfordsville leading 5-4 in the first set, Camp and Howe came out of the side switch, and a meeting with their coaches, playing more aggressive tennis.
Camp and Howe, state finalists last year in doubles, won the set 7-5 then outlasted the Katzenbergers 6-2 in the second set.
“I think our net game is really what got this [win] for us because they were so consistent at the baseline. We had to make something happen or we would have been out here all night,” Howe said.
The Braves will be playing on Saturday for their second straight trip to state finals.
Terre Haute South 3, Crawfordsville 2
Singles — Lauren Hambrock (THS) def. Kassidy Bonebrake (Cv) 6-0, 6-1; Hannah Chalmers (Cv) def. Jordon Davis (THS) 6-1, 6-1; Destynee Nelson (Cv) def. Sofia Saylor (THS) 6-4 6-1.
Doubles — Miranda Camp-Nicole Howe (THS) def. Mia Katzenberger-Lizzy Katzenberger (Cv) 7-5, 6-2; Shivani Purohit-Courtney Sheets (THS) def. Emma Heinhold-Elizabeth Flynn (Cv) 6-2, 6-3.
Next — Terre Haute South (12-5) will play the 10 a.m. match Saturday in the semistate at Center Grove High School.