Retaining a tennis tournament championship requires consistency from the top to the bottom of the ladder.
Saturday, the Seymour tennis team dominated the playing field — winning individual championships in four out of five possible positions — amassing 50 points to earn their second straight Shelbyville Invite title.
Oldenburg Academy finished with 20 points and Mooresville managed 18 points to round-out the top-three teams in the eight-team field.
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At No. 2 singles, Owls senior Marley Vehslage started her day with a 6-2, 6-2 win against Greensburg’s Courtney Nelson.
Vehslage went on to win her second match 6-0, 6-0, against Oldenburg Academy’s Angela Wanstrath, before taking down Mooresville’s Renee Majerski 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5) in a tightly-contested, ground stroke heavy championship.
The Owls’ Kennedy Richart, a senior, defeated Batesville’s Erin Longstreth 6-3, 6-3 and Mooresville’s Kaley Huddleston 6-2, 6-1 prior to a 6-0, 6-3 victory against Triton Central’s Hannah Troutt for the No. 3 singles title.
“Last year we were in that same position, and finally three singles was able to take the No. 3 singles championship this year — it was really nice for Kennedy (Richart),” Owls coach Jennifer Miller said. “To really have a lot of success today after not being able to pull it off this year was big for her.”
Senior Karen Dringenburg and junior Lindsey Hume defeated Batesville’s Brooke Bradford and Kelli Hartman 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles in their respective final. Dringenburg and Hume topped Triton Central 6-0, 6-1 and Oldenburg Academy 6-1, 6-2 prior to the championship.
In her three years of playing at the invite, not including the 2011 tournament that was rained-out, Dringenburg finishes undefeated.
Dringenburg played with three different doubles partners to take home the trifecta of titles.
The youthful No. 2 doubles team boasting sophomores Megan Baurle and Hallie Crenshaw trounced Greensburg’s Tiffany Springmeyer and Abigail Bailey in the championship round. The tandem beat Oldenburg Academy 6-1, 6-1 and Batesville 6-1, 6-1 in the prior rounds.
Junior Julia Adam fell in the first round at the No. 1 singles spot, 6-1, 6-1, to Mooresville’s Morgan Fitzpatrick.
Adam finished strong defeating Franklin County’s Lauren Mohr 8-1 and Shelbyville’s Brianna Ayres 8-3 to win the consolation: a fifth place finish.
“I think the caliber of opponents that we have in this tournament, when you look at our district rankings, the top eight are here along with us,” Miller said. “We knew that we would be challenged with our opponents based on our draw. Everybody came out and really played what we expected — they stepped up to the challenge.”
With each of her girls playing three matches on the hot, sunny day, Miller said that long days are good for her team’s long-term plans.
Last weekend, the Owls competed in the Silver Creek Invitational.
“We have a couple of weeks here coming up when we’re playing three matches in four days,” Miller said. “When you can play two weekends in a row, three matches in one day, it really does build up your endurance and stamina. It makes it easier to finish during those matches in the week.”
The Owls may re-encounter one of the opponents from the Shelbyville Invite in the Bloomington regional.
The Greensburg sectional feeds into Bloomington. Moorseville, Greensburg or Oldenburg Academy could potentially meet the Owls in the second round if the Owls advance past the first in regional play following a sectional title.