Holding up a calendar of the 2015 girls tennis season, Seymour co-coach Nathan Otte pointed to the very bottom of the list.

His finger extended to the final line: individual state tournament.

The season, which started with conditioning in the second week of February, lasted all the way to Saturday.

Otte said that, for the first time in almost 20 years, the Owls program had made it all the way to the end.

The Owls girls tennis team celebrated a historic year Monday at the SHS cafeteria following a large buffet dinner.

This season, the Owls won their first Hoosier Hills Conference title, a fourth-straight sectional championship, fourth-straight Providence Invitational and second-straight Shelbyville Invitational before sending a doubles team to the state championships.

The Owls finished 19-3 in team play, winning 16 matches by scores of 5-0.

“We began this season with specific goals in mind,” co-coach Jennifer Miller said. “As we got a little bit into the season not only were we continuing to be successful but being able to win matches 5-0 were things we didn’t count on.

“The girls completely bought into the program and were willing to go the extra mile to achieve a conference, sectional and repeat invitational championships. We’re thankful to be able to celebrate with this girls.”

While the Owls fell as a team to Columbus North in the regional semifinals, the No. 1 doubles team of senior Karen Dringenburg and junior Emma Wood kept pushing.

The duo won the school’s first doubles regional championship prior to advancing to state, where they finished in the final four.

Otte said that the achievements by Dringenburg and Wood helped build interest in the program and hopes that it will translate to more girls coming out to play tennis next season.

The Owls made Academic All-State as a team, and senior Marley Vehslage earned individual honors for Academic All-State.

Wood and Dringenburg were named co-MVPs for the season.

A Captain’s Award was also presented to Dringenburg.

Mental Attitude Awards were handed to juniors Julia Adam and Lindsey Hume.

For their efforts in their conference, Vehslage, Hume, Wood, Dringenburg and sophomore Megan Baurle were named All-HHC.

All-HHC Honorable Mention’s went to senior Kennedy Richart and sophomore Hallie Crenshaw.

For District 8, Adam and Vehslage will named All-District. The two also were honorable all-state.

Miller was named District Coach of the Year.

Wood and Dringenburg were All-State and All-District.

Dringenburg, Richart and Vehslage will all graduate from the Owls’ program.

“I think that we have three girls that aren’t just leaders academically, but are leaders in what they say and do,” Miller said. “They go out and bring everyone to a higher level with the way they compete. They all know how to have fun, and everything we’ve done as a team this year has been fun. From practices to meals together and tournaments.

“They’ve been a really driving force behind that and making the younger girls feel like a part of the program as well.”

Also leaving the program is foreign exchange student, Adam, who played No. 1 singles this season.

“We’re going to very much miss Julia as she goes back to Germany,” Miller said. “She knew the history of the program and stepped in and acted as a leader. She will be just as hard to replace as the three seniors.”

While four key pieces to this season’s success are leaving, a bunch of youngsters will return.

“We have a very large group of sophomore who’ve had a good amount of court time with junior varsity matches, so we’re hoping that some of the girls who had varsity time are able to put in time during the Winter,” Miller said. “We’re also now trying to work more on developing our feeder system.”

By the numbers

Owls individual 2015 records

Karen Dringenburg: 27-3

Megan Baurle: 23-1

Lindsey Hume: 23-2

Kennedy Richart: 21-3

Julia Adam 18-6

Marley Vehslage: 17-2

Hallie Crenshaw 17-1

Emma Wood: 16-1

Combined season record: 162-19

Author photo
Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.