For a long time, rain and snow delayed the beginning of the spring sports seasons.
Now in an unconventional manner, weather has extended the tennis season of one of two area schools.
The IHSAA Sectional 55 girls tennis championship match between Richmond and Northeastern was suspended due to rain and lightning Friday and will be resumed today at 9 a.m. — weather permitting.
Today’s winner moves on to play the winner of the Connersville sectional next Tuesday at Richmond.
The loser’s season comes to an end.
Both teams are reigning sectional champions as Richmond has won two straight crowns on its home court.
Northeastern was part of the Jay County sectional a year ago, and earned the program’s first title ever.
Although no set was completed Friday, the Red Devils had an early advantage, leading in four of five flights.
“We got off to a good start, but you’ve still got to win two sets and you can’t control the weather,” Richmond coach Randy Hollingsworth said. “We’ll come out tomorrow and hopefully get off to another good start and see what happens.”
Red Devil junior Peyton Young had a 5-2 lead at No. 1 singles, Katy Robinson was ahead 2-1 at No. 2 and Kaitlyn Kramer was up 4-0 at No. 3.
In doubles play, Richmond’s Julia Hays and Kaitlin Harrison led 4-1 at No. 1, while Northeastern’s Kerri Kircher and Sarah Hester had a 2-1 lead at No. 2.
Play was moved during Thursday night’s semifinals too, from Richmond to Centerville.
Richmond defeated Lincoln 4-1 that day, while Northeastern edged Centerville 3-2.
The Red Devils swept Hagerstown 5-0 in Tuesday’s first round, while Northeastern earned a bye. Centerville knocked off Seton Catholic 4-1.
Northeastern is coming off a Tri-Eastern Conference tournament win on Monday, sharing the TEC title with Centerville, which won the regular-season title with a 7-0 record in duals.
“After the weekend, the conference tournament, the girls are tested in longer matches, a little more trying matches, playing two in a day, being extended to three sets, and actually being behind, so we’ve been accustomed to playing behind,” Northeastern coach Mike Esposito said. “Although we don’t like to do it, we know that you play a point at a time and you have to win six (games) to win a set, so I think we’re still in here for the battle and we’ll see what we can do.”
Richmond’s softball game Friday against Jay County was canceled as well.
The Richmond softball team finished the regular season 16-6 and plays Pendleton Heights in Monday’s sectional opener.
Richmond softball coach Kyle Ingram said, “It’s not surprising relative to today’s weather. The spring weather just, it’s kind of a culmination of one bad spring.”