FORTVILLE — Though the Hancock County girls tennis team championship was firmly in hand, Gabe Muterspaugh was still nervous.
The Mt. Vernon girls tennis coach paced up and down the courts Friday night at Mt. Vernon knowing history was within reach.
In the 19 years he has been coaching the Marauders, there never was a team that had won all five county varsity and all five county JV championships at the same meet, he said.
Until this year.
When Mt. Vernon’s No. 1 doubles team of Addison Eads and Emily Annakin finished off their New Palestine competitors, Muterspaugh let out a sigh of relief.
The pair had sealed Mt. Vernon’s perfect day and wrapped up their second-straight county championship.
“We set goals of winning every match, and we didn’t want it to be anticlimactic, in getting just nine out of 10,” Muterspaugh said. “Getting all five varsity and getting all five JV just shows where we are at as a program. From freshmen to seniors, everyone was locked in tonight.”
Mt. Vernon’s varsity team finished with a perfect 35 points on the evening. New Palestine was runner-up with 13, Greenfield-Central was third with 7, and Eastern Hancock had 5.
The Marauders dominated from start to finish, losing only one set in the tournament.
No. 2 singles player Molly Laughlin lost just five games en route to her title. No. 3 single player Sarah Jones lost only two and claimed her county title in 6-0, 6-0 fashion.
Rounding out the singles titles for Mt. Vernon was No. 1 player Cassie York, won her opening-round match 6-0, 6-0 and did not a get chance to showcase her talent again, as her scheduled title-match competitor was unable to perform.
On the final point of New Palestine’s No. 1 singles player Alana Henry’s opening-round win, she tripped and fell onto her head and knees.
Fortunately, Dragons coach Chris Hardin said, she did not suffer a concussion or any other head injury. But she likely will need to see a doctor about her right knee, which she was unable to put weight on.
In the doubles categories, the No. 1 team of Eads and Annakin cruised in their opening-round win 6-0, 6-0. They won the first set of their title match against Cassie Williams and Jamie Mittman 6-0, but then fell behind 3-2 in the second to give Muterspaugh a scare.
“I’ll admit, I was a little nervous,” the coach said with a laugh.
But the team quickly rebounded and finished off their competitors, 6-3.
Finally, the No. 2 doubles team of Kendra Eberhard and Brianna Partin won their title match 6-0, 6-0 after their opening-round match went to three sets.
“It’s just an awesome day,” an elated Muterspaugh said after the tournament. “There’s not one thing to complain about.”
New Palestine’s Hardin was a little disappointed with his team’s effort but said his girls just need more time to gain confidence.
Sending three competitors to title matches, he said, might help do that.
For Eastern Hancock, the No. 2 doubles team of Kelly Mellene and Emiley Carlton were the sole competitors to compete for a county title.
Royals coach Erin Wolski said she knew it was going to be tough for her girls coming into a tournament filled with schools much bigger than theirs.
So, she said, she was proud of how they performed Friday.
“That was some tough competition we faced,” Wolski said. “I was just happy to see all the girls work hard and compete.”
Greenfield-Central’s Angela Kennedy felt similarly about her team.
“Of course we wanted to win a few more,” the coach said. “But I thought the girls played tough out there.”
The Cougars top finisher was No. 3 singles player Kendall Barr, who won her first match 6-0, 6-0 before falling by the same score in the championship match.
Mt. Vernon, Greenfield-Central, New Palestine and Eastern Hancock competed in the Hancock County Girls Tennis Championship on Friday night in Fortville. Here’s how the tournament played out:
Team scores: Mt. Vernon 35, New Palestine 13, Greenfield-Central 7, Eastern Hancock 5.
No. 1 singles
Cassie York (MV) def. Alana Henry (NP) (forfeit/injury)
No. 2 singles
Molly Laughlin (MV) def. Kristi LeBeau (NP) 6-0, 6-2
No. 3 singles
Sarah Jones (MV) def. Kendall Bar (GC) 6-0, 6-0.
No. 1 doubles
Addison Eads/Emily Annakin (MV) def. Cassie Willhelm/Jamie Mittman (NP) 6-0, 6-3
No. 2 doubles
Brianna Partin/Kendra Eberhard (MV) def. Kelley Mellene/Emiley Carlton (EH) 6-0, 6-0.