News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 25, 2013

Freshman Hambrock, THS seek semistate tennis title

David Hughes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Having already claimed Terre Haute North Sectional and Greencastle Regional championships in girls high school tennis, Terre Haute South will try to add a semistate title to its 2013 list of accomplishments today as the Braves battle No. 25-ranked Greenwood.

With action beginning at 10 a.m. on Center Grove’s courts in the city of Greenwood, South will bring a 12-5 mark and Greenwood will come in at 16-5. Also taking place at Center Grove this morning will be a semistate matchup pitting East Central (19-3) vs. No. 11 Park Tudor (8-5).

Both winners will join six other semistate survivors from around Indiana in the eight-team state finals May 31-June 1 at Carmel, Fishers and Indianapolis North Central high schools.

Earlier this week, Greenwood edged Roncalli 3-2 to emerge from the Center Grove Regional and South slipped past Crawfordsville by the same score in the finale at Greencastle.

Coach Bill Blankenbaker’s Braves are led by freshman phenom Lauren Hambrock (15-5) at No. 1 singles. She hasn’t lost in the sectional or regional. Her last regular-season setback came against Evansville Memorial’s highly regarded Jasmine Lee on May 11.

“She’s gotten to play some talent this year,” Blankenbaker said of Hambrock. “She’s played a lot of seniors. She’s seen a lot of different opponents’ styles. … She’s hitting the ball really well. I would not count her out this weekend.”

Hambrock is slated to face Jackie Kawamoto today.

The rest of South’s singles lineup will consist of sophomore Jordan Davis (6-10) at No. 2 and freshman Kyla Jarvis (3-0) at No. 3. Freshman Sofia Saylor also has seen plenty of action at No. 3 singles this season.

“Kyla’s been playing well,” Blankenbaker explained. “She played well in the regional [against Seeger in Tuesday’s semifinal]. She can do a lot of things. She can drop-shot real well. She did that in the regional.”

Ready to roll in doubles are junior Nicole Howe and senior Miranda Camp (11-4 together) at No. 1 and sophomores Shivani Purohit and Courtney Sheets (10-2 together) at No. 2.

“We’re doing better,” Blankenbaker said of his team as a whole. “But we can always do better. We had some good practices Thursday and Friday. If we play like we can at key spots — I know the other team is very good at 1 and 2 singles — we can pull it out. I think both doubles have a very a good chance [of winning]. Jordan’s going to have the rough one [at No. 2 singles], even if she plays well.”

Blankenbaker said he doesn’t know much about the names of Greenwood’s key players, but he does know they’ll be difficult to beat.

“They’re very good at 1 and 2 singles and No. 2 doubles, but I think our 2 doubles is a key spot for us,” he mentioned. “Their 1 doubles lost at their [Center Grove] regional, but they’re still very good.”