NEW PALESTINE — After a pair of losses last week against ranked opponents, Mt. Vernon bounced back on Monday.

They did so against Hoosier Heritage Conference and Hancock County rival New Palestine.

The No. 17 ranked Marauders defeated the Dragons 5-0 to improve to 9-2 on the season.

“It’s tough because it’s a rivalry,” Mt. Vernon head coach Gabe Muterspaugh said. “They’re always going to be up to play us, so I was really happy with how we came out and played.”

The two county foes had met earlier in the season in four of the five county championship matches where the Marauders took all four.

This time around for the Dragons, a new lineup was used.

Junior Bethany Blachly went from No. 2 singles to No. 1 doubles, senior Emily Appleby moved from No. 1 doubles to No. 2 doubles, and freshman Riley Watts took the No. 2 singles spot.

“We needed to do something because they dominated us last time. They still won tonight, but they totally dominated at county, so we wanted to make some changes,” New Palestine head coach Jean Graham said. “We aren’t there yet, but we’re a lot closer than we were. The girls just have to believe in themselves. We’re young and we’re building confidence, so it’s just going to take time.”

At No. 1 doubles, the Dragons duo of Blachly and Josephine Harvey took an early 4-3 lead.

After a meeting with Muterspaugh though, Mt. Vernon’s Kylie Brandes and Ava Lusby turned up the pressure.

The Marauders came back to win the first set 6-4 and then closed things out with a 6-1 win in the second set.

“Our No. 1 doubles started out really slow, but once we had a talk, they started playing with some passion and the way we’re supposed to play,” Muterspaugh said. “Once they got going and started cheering for each other and having fun, they were fine and took control.”

The win secured the Marauders the team victory with Caroline Allen and Ginni Morelli already off the court at No. 1 and No. 2 singles.

After dropping their matches last week against Noblesville and Cathedral, Morelli made quick work of her match on Monday, defeating Watts 6-1, 6-2. Allen won a stress-free first set 6-0, but New Palestine’s Kaitlyn Mitchell made it interesting in the second before Allen won 7-5.

“Sometimes that’s the best medicine, to hit some easy shots and see some good playing,” Muterspaugh said. “We’re trying to work on things all the time, so we gave up a few games but it was still good to see.”

The fourth win for Mt. Vernon came at No. 2 doubles. The team of Addy Lockwood and Sophie Maxwell took down Appleby and Amelia Schneider 6-4, 6-3.

“They competed and Mt. Vernon knows that. We’re getting better, but they’ve got some really good players and a few move-ins that are just awesome,” Graham said. “We plan on seeing them in the sectional and competing again.”

In the closest match of the night, Maria Downs defeated Maizy Haynes at No. 3 singles. After dropping the opening set 6-2, Haynes forced Downs into a tiebreaker in the second set.

Downs took the hard-fought second set 7-6 (3).

“Maria pulled it out against a girl that just works so hard,” Muterspaugh. “Maizy puts in as much effort as you can, and it’s always a good match between those two every time.”

The win kept Mt. Vernon undefeated in HHC play. They travel to New Castle on Wednesday with the chance to win the conference and cap off an undefeated HHC season.

New Palestine is back in action Tuesday at home at 5 p.m. against Greensburg.