Preseason competition for Harrison’s No. 2 doubles team was intense.
Hannah Eastman and Janie Zeh hoped they’d earn the last two spots in the Raiders’ varsity lineup and be partners.
It made sense with Eastman’s ability in the backcourt and Zeh’s dexterity for putting balls away at the net.
“We’ve been friends for a couple years now and we meshed really well together,” Zeh said. “There was no animosity because we were good friends already.”
On Friday, that friendship gained a valuable memorable moment when Eastman and Zeh clinched Harrison’s third straight sectional championship with their victory.
Eastman and Zeh finished a 6-0, 6-3 victory against Central Catholic’s Alyssa Tharp and Lizzi Cramer for the third point of what became a 5-0 victory.
The Raiders advance to Tuesday’s Kokomo Regional semifinals against Cass. The championship will be Wednesday.
Harrison’s third straight sectional title forced a change in T-shirts.
The back of Harrison’s sectional shirts had the years 2013 and 2014, the program’s only two titles entering Friday other than 2004.
Underneath was the phrase “WIIIN 2015” with the Roman numeral three to symbolize the third consecutive title. After being awarded the trophy, coach Julie Hawkins asked to have the shirts back. Hawkins said she’ll replace the III with an ‘O’ since they’ve now won.
Teja Kakani was quickly off the court, winning 6-1, 6-0 over Brooklyn Bordenet. The Raiders’ No. 1 doubles tandem of Aman Kaur and Kensington Eiler weren’t far behind with their double bagel over Lexi Gaeta and Kenna Preston, which set up the moment for Eastman and Zeh.
The sectional championship came just eight days after an upsetting loss to Crawfordsville, where Eastman and Zeh fell at No. 2.
“We learned from our loss and we got pumped up because we wanted to win the sectional,” Eastman said. “We wanted to show that we could do it. We got our spirits up and finished the job.”
One night after Libby Roetker was the hero in a marathon match victory over West Lafayette, the Harrison No. 2 singles player topped Belle Kendrick 6-3, 6-1. Senior Rebecca Dinkel completed the Harrison sweep with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Angela Tharp in what CC coach David Lux said was “heartbreaking” for his only senior, who spent all four years at No. 1 singles.
Other than that, the championship moment was a bright spot for the Knights, who return their other six varsity players.
“I think for both of our doubles teams, it was huge,” Lux said. “Our 2 doubles team is two freshmen who never picked up a racket before the season started. I think they ended up having the second best record on the team.”