For The Tribune

Tough competition can bring out the best in athletes, and the Seymour tennis team knew they had to be at their best Thursday against a tough Columbus North squad — ranked 17th in the state.

In a match that started one hour late due to lightning strikes, and a game that had high winds the first hour, the 28th-ranked Owls fared well, even without last year’s number one player Emma Wood, who is out with a broken collarbone.

The Owls ended up losing 3-2 in a match that wasn’t decided until the No. 1 doubles team of Karen Dringenburg and Lindsey Hume fell in a close match.

“It could have gone either way, and the drop in the level of intensity got us there at the end,” Seymour coach Jennifer Miler said.

At No. 1 singles Julia Adam lost 6-3, 6-2 and second singles Marley Vehslage fell 6-1, 6-0.

Then the Owls’ Kennedy Richart won at No. 3 singles 6-3, 6-4 to bring Seymour within 2-1.

“It’s hard to replicate in practice the intensity that a team like Columbus North brings, so we’ve got to get that going,” Miller said. “This is Julia’s first time playing a tennis match here in the U.S., so this was a good motivator, because she saw what her opponent is capable of doing.”

At No. 1 doubles, Dringenburg and Hume battled winning the first set 6-3, and dropping the second set 3-6, then went to six straight deuces in the 7th game of the set before falling 6-2.

At two doubles, Hallie Crenshaw and Megan Baurle won 8-6, 2-6, and 6-4, to give North a 3-2 victory.