HAGERSTOWN, Ind. – For a night where team and individual titles would not be earned, there was sure a lot of drama Monday night on the Hagerstown High School tennis courts.
It was the first full day of the Tri-Eastern Conference tournament in girls tennis for the spring season, and although regular-season dual match champion Centerville is in the lead of the team standings, how the Bulldogs got there, and what teams are in the mix for titles, is a sign of great parity in the TEC this year.
Centerville has accumulated 30 points, but host Hagerstown had a strong day on Monday and has 27 team points. Lincoln has 22 points and Northeastern 19, as the four Wayne County schools all are in the mix for top TEC positions come the Tuesday night finals at 5 p.m. back at Hagerstown.
The Bulldogs have three entries in Tuesday’s final matches, as do the Tigers, while both the Golden Eagles and Knights have two.
“Shelby Minhinnett came from behind to win at first singles, and our first doubles team really played well in winning,” said Centerville head coach Randy Ecker.
Lizzy Walther also advanced to the final at No. 3 singles.
Minhinnett will play fellow senior Hannah McKissick of Northeastern in the No. 1 singles title match.
“I hope to play really well. I will need to get balls in the court, in the proper direction and get a lot of first serves in,” McKissick said of facing Minhinneett.
At No. 2 singles, Hayley Hollenberg of Hagerstown nipped Lexi Stamper of Centerville to earn the spot opposite of Libby Buhl of Lincoln in Tuesday’s final match in that position.
“I just had to wing it out there. I actually think we played a lot alike, so I was able to adjust to win some key points at the end,” Hollenberg said of her win 7-3 in a third set tiebreaker.
In doubles play, Centerville’s No. 1 doubles team of Taylor Lakes and Abby Stewart will meet the senior pairing of Tawni Brown and Olivia Houck of Hagerstown.
At No. 2 doubles, Lincoln’s young duo of sophomore Kylei Klein and freshman Lydia Bertsch will meet the Hagerstown team of McKenzie Fleming and Mekayla Todd.
• Team – 1, Centerville 30; 2, Hagerstown 27; 3, Lincoln 22; 4, Northeastern 19; 5, Tri 6; tie for 6, Union County and Winchester 3 points each; 8, Union City 0.
No. 1 Singles
• First round – McKissick (N) def. Cleere (UCi); S. Houck (H) def. Rosenberger (UCo); Merida (L) def. Retter (W); Minhinnett (C) def. Pierce (T).
• Semifinals – McKissick (N) def. S. Houck (H); Minhinnett (C) def. Merida (L).
No. 2 Singles
• First round – Buhl (L) def. Chambers (UCo); White (W) def. Hester (N); Hollenberg (H) def. Rismiller (UCi); Stamper (C) def. West (T).
• Semifinals – Buhl (L) def. White (W); Hollenberg (H) def. Stamper (C).
No. 3 Singles
• First round – Walther (C) def. Winningham (W); Whitley (UCo) def. Mote (UCi); Benner (N) def. McFarland (H); O’Neill (T) def. Oberhelman (L).
• Semifinals – Walther (C) def. Whitley (UCo); Benner (N) def. O’Neill (T).
No. 1 Doubles
• First round – Dishman/Vandiver (T) def. Porter/Fields (UCo); Lakes/Stewart (C) def. Malkey/Winger (W); Brown/O. Houck (H) def. McDaniel/Adams (N); Maley/J. Buhl (L) def. Reagan/Sullenbarger (UCi).
• Semifinals – Lakes/Stewart (C) def. Dishman/Vandiver (T); Brown/Houck (H) def. Maley/J. Buhl (L).
No. 2 Doubles
• First round – Uphaus/Wolf (C) def. Moreland/Brown (W); Bertsch/Klein (L) def. Cline/Conklin (UCi); Ullery/Jay (N) def. Abbott/Thurmer (UCo); Fleming/Todd (H) def. Weaver/Edwards (T).
• Semifinals – Bertsch/Klein (L) def. Uphaus/Wolf (C); Fleming/Todd (H) def. Ullery/Todd (N).