News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

May 20, 2014

North vs. South highlights start of girls tennis sectional

TERRE HAUTE — Today will be the rematch for Terre Haute South vs. Terre Haute North in girls high school tennis, starting at 5 p.m. on the Braves’ courts.

In their regular-season match May 5, North’s Patriots — currently ranked 10th in the state — edged South 3-2 as sophomore Meredith Egan and senior Laura Mascari chalked up victories at Nos. 2 and 3 singles and freshman Molly Farmer and sophomore Kyla Jarvis combined to win at No. 2 doubles.

This time, a chance to advance to Thursday’s 5 p.m. sectional championship match will be at stake. Another sectional semifinal clash — West Vigo vs. Sullivan — will take place at 5 today.

But the betting line, if one existed for girls high school tennis, would no doubt make today’s North-South winner the heavy favorite to capture the sectional title Thursday.

Third-year coach Jeff Farmer said his 11-2 Patriots will continue to start their usual lineup of freshman Hannah Rudolph (9-7) at No. 1 singles, Egan (11-5) at No. 2 singles, Mascari (13-4) at No. 3 singles, freshman Samantha Doughery/junior Caroline Potter (10-6) at No. 1 doubles and Farmer/Jarvis (12-4) at No. 2 doubles.

South coach Bill Blankenbaker, whose squads have captured the last two sectional crowns, said he’ll counter with sophomore Lauren Hambrock (9-6) at No. 1 singles, junior Courtney Sheets (3-1) at No. 2 singles, senior Vanessa Lauby (3-2) at No. 3 singles, freshman Pam Dorman/sophomore Sofia Saylor (13-3) at No. 1 doubles and junior Shivani Purohit/senior Nicole Howe (0-2) at No. 2 doubles.

“We’ve got a new lineup again, as usual,” Blankenbaker said of his 11-5 Braves. “We’ll just see how this goes.

“We were getting beat at a few spots, so we thought we had to make some changes [a while back]. We think this will be a very, very good lineup.”

“There’s always talk about lineup changes, at least in the last three years,” Jeff Farmer said in reaction to South’s recent personnel switches. “We’ll be prepared for whatever modification they might bring.

“We haven’t made any changes to our lineup. Ours will be the same as it has been throughout the year. The girls are playing well in the positions that they’re in. I know they’re looking forward to the challenge this week. I know the girls are all hungry for a sectional championship.”

Meanwhile, Blankenbaker expressed plenty of confidence in his top player, Hambrock, who defeated young Rudolph 6-1, 6-1 in their regular-season match.

“Lauren’s an excellent player,” the veteran coach emphasized. “She’s been playing well all year. One doubles [Dorman/Saylor] has been playing well too.”

As for West Vigo vs. Sullivan, the Vikings won their regular-season match 4-1 back in late April. Both teams lost to North and South during the regular season.

The Terre Haute South and Northview sectional champions will face each other in the Crawfordsville Regional next Tuesday. At Northview, the host Knights will take on Greencastle to get their sectional started today.

Sectional pairings

At Terre Haute South

Today


5 p.m. — Terre Haute South (11-5) vs. Terre Haute North (11-2), West Vigo (8-12) vs. Sullivan

Thursday

5 p.m. — Championship match

At Northview

Today


5 p.m. — Greencastle vs. Northview

Thursday

5 p.m. — Owen Valley vs. South Putnam, South Vermillion vs. Wednesday winner

Friday

5 p.m. — Championship match

At Crawfordsville

Today


5 p.m. — North Montgomery vs. Rockville

Thursday

5 p.m. — Crawfordsville vs. Turkey Run

Friday

5 p.m. — Championship match

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