By Maria Liechty
FORTVILLE – Three Hancock County teams converged on the Mt. Vernon tennis courts in the second round of Sectional 39 girls tennis Thursday. One came out victorious.
Mt. Vernon hit 19 wins in their 5-0 sweep of Eastern Hancock. They didn’t give up a single game.
“I really like the way we came out with intensity,” Mt. Vernon head coach Gabe Muterspaugh said. “There was no lack of focus.”
First off the court was Marauder junior Alaina Nelson at No. 1 singles. She grabbed the first 12 games in the Marauder’s accumulative 60-0 victory.
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“Alaina has been playing her best tennis,” Muterspaugh said.
No. 2 singles Olivia Spicer and No. 2 doubles Sophie Williams and Maeve McCafferty came off in quick succession. After No. 3 singles Kaleigh Helm, two dubs finished off the victory.
Muterspaugh said the main goal for the tournament is 20 wins, which would be a school record. They face Pendleton Heights at 5 p.m. Friday at Mt. Vernon to try and break that record. Their second goal is four sectional titles in a row.
“It’s going to have to be a full team effort,” he said. “The big thing for us is to play Mt. Vernon tennis like we know how.”
Mt. Vernon defeated Pendleton Heights 4-1 at the beginning of the season and the Arabians will be looking for revenge.
The Cougar girls tennis team hit a roadblock Friday. The team had lost to Pendleton Heights earlier in the season, but Greenfield-Central head coach Michael Turpin said the team came in with a good shot.
“It’s always upsetting to lose,” Turpin said. “And coming in, we thought we had a chance.”
Of the two varsity freshmen on the young team, one took the match to three sets for the team’s only victory.
Avery Spencer came out strong in the first set, giving up only one game to Arabian Bailey Davis. Davis turned the tables in the second set, and the playing field evened in the third.
“For that much pressure as a freshman, she stayed very composed,” Turpin said. “She played well and came out strong.”
After Davis won the first game, it was back and forth, with Spencer snatching a key slam to bring her to a 4-3 advantage. From there, she kept chipping away after Davis had a few short misses, then sealed the victory with two long shots, unbalancing Davis. Spencer won 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
Despite two-set losses for the other four matches, Turpin said the scores didn’t reflect how close the games were.
“They are very good at adjusting to your game,” Turpin said of the Arabians. “They find a shot that works and keep hitting it until you can adjust.”
Greenfield-Central and Eastern Hancock finished off their seasons Thursday as Mt. Vernon and Pendleton Heights head to the finals.
Pendleton Heights 4, Greenfield-Central 1
No. 1 singles: Sam Hammel (PH) def. Lindsey McCord (GC) 6-1, 6-2
No. 2 singles: Avery Spencer (G-C) def. Bailey Davis (PH) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4
No. 3 singles: Gracie Criswell (PH) def. Alyson Proper (G-C) 6-2, 6-2
No. 1 doubles: Gabby Kramer/Susie Kramer (PH) def. Grace Hall/Erin Wright (G-C) 6-0, 6-1
No. 2 doubles: Brielle Boynton/Claire Goodwin (PH) def. Kaleigh Stephenson/Haidyn Goodwin (G-C) 6-4, 6-2
Mt. Vernon 5, Eastern Hancock 0
No. 1 singles: Alaina Nelson (MV) def. Chelsi McMahan (EH) 6-0, 6-0
No. 2 singles: Olivia Spicer (MV) def. Taylor Kline (EH) 6-0, 6-0
No. 3 singles: Kaleigh Helm (MV) def. Corina Jennings (EH) 6-0, 6-0
No. 1 doubles: Maeve Laughlin/Emily Annakin (MV) def. Erin McKeemar/Kayla Huff (EH) 6-0, 6-0
No. 2 doubles: Sophie Williams/Maeve McCafferty (MV) def. Cassandra Hanneman/Madison Hagan (EH) 6-0, 6-0