Owls lose in close fight to North

For The Tribune

BLOOMINGTON

Just when it seemed that the Columbus North girls tennis team was taking a firm grasp on Tuesday’s Bloomington South Regional semifinal match against Seymour, the Owls mounted a rally.

But while Seymour made it interesting, the Bull Dogs eventually prevailed 3-2 in a thriller to advance to today’s regional title match against Bloomington South. The Panthers downed Greensburg 5-0 in the other semifinal match.

“It was a very exciting and entertaining match to watch,” North coach Kendal Hammel said. “I have been telling people all year long that Seymour is a very good team. I made sure we did not look past this match. We struggled a bit today, but we got (to the regional finals).”

North picked up two very early victories as Aubrey Smith won against Seymour’s Julia Adam 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. North’s Paige Littrell defeated Seymour’s Malerie Brewer 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles.

The Bull Dogs needed just one more win to advance, but Seymour rallied to post a win at No. 1 doubles where Emma Wood and Karen Dringenburg defeated North’s Meagan Olibo and Madelyn Sanders 6-3, 6-2.

With the two deciding matches being played at the same time, North secured the team victory when Rosemary Yonushonis defeated Seymour’s Kennedy Richart in three sets 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.

Seymour co-coach Nathan Otte said the Owls gave a terrific effort.

“Rosemary proved to be a very tough opponent for Kennedy,” Otte said. “But it was good to see her keep fighting because she is a senior. She was never going to quit.”

The final three-set match was completed after North clinched the match. It came at No. 2 doubles, where Seymour’s Megan Baurle and Lindsey Hume prevailed against North’s Brooke Richardson and Yijiang Zhao 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4).

“I believe my No. 2 doubles lost their momentum at the start of the first set and could not regain it,” Otte said. “They were able to get it back in the second set, and I was glad to see them pull through and win.”

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James Pence is a sports correspondent for The Republic.