uring the past two months, my sports staff and I have followed a historic run by the Seymour girls tennis team.
The Owls won their first Hoosier Hills Conference title, a slew of invitationals, their fifth-straight sectional crown and sent a doubles team to the state tournament.
Tennis, a sport that doesn’t have the mass appeal of football or basketball, has started building momentum in the community’s eye.
This past weekend at Park Tudor capped off what was an outstanding season for the program.
Karen Dringenburg and Emma Wood shocked some people in 2015.
For them to make it to the final four is outlandishly impressive.
The two did make it to the regional finals last season, but a lot of people wrote them off to making a state tournament in 2015.
There’s a lot of strong tennis in this region, and a majority of the teams who advance to state are from private schools — schools which have professional, and indoor, facilities and private coaching throughout the entire year.
On Friday, the Owls put up a convincing win over a talented Culver Academies tandem and had some momentum going into their match with Carmel.
Carmel’s a different animal.
They’re technically sound, mentally strong and conditioned up and down their team’s roster.
In the state championship match later Saturday afternoon, Carmel took the doubles championship 6-1, 6-0 against Floyd Central.
By IHSAA ruling, any doubles team or singles player that goes undefeated in the postseason automatically gets a bid into the individual state tournament.
The previous weekend, Carmel won their third straight team state title in a 5-0 win against Munster at North Central High School.
Personally, I don’t understand this ruling.
Sure, you’re making the field stronger by putting this team in the tournament.
But why only if you go undefeated? Don’t you think the No. 1 doubles team from Munster wants another crack at the team they faced in the state finals? Isn’t a team state championship enough?
It’s not on the kids at all, but the organization.
Regardless of all those policies, while Dringenburg and Wood finished in the Final Four in all reality they are the second or third best team in the state behind Carmel and possibly Delta (who lost to Floyd in the semis).
At the HHC tournament, the Owls beat Floyd 6-4, 6-4.
Had the Owls played Floyd in the finals or semifinals, odds are they would have won.
It should be noted that having two HHC teams in the final four is also extraordinary, as the conference isn’t known for producing the strongest teams in Indiana.
The Owls hope to continue to grow and improve after seeing that it’s possible to succeed at one of the highest levels in tennis.
The Seymour tennis program took a massive leap this season and celebrations are in order.
Jordan Morey is the sports editor for The Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com