Led by a pair of seniors and a freshman — Crawfordsville sealed the IHSAA Girls Tennis Sectional crown with a 3-2 win over Southmont on Thursday night in the sectional final.
The Athenians swept the singles positions with seniors Lauren Hale and Hannah McLean dominating at the first two spots.
Hale defeated Mallory Murphy 6-0, 6-1 at the No. 1 position, while McLean beat Hanna Long 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.
“They played incredible tonight,” Crawfordsville coach Jeff Strickland said. “And really just throughout the entire season, every time they come out they give it everything that they have and they compete and battle and they did that tonight and came out on top. Couldn’t be more proud especially of those two seniors. Nobody I would want to go into battle with than those two.”
The win gives Crawfordsville its first sectional title since 2016.
“We were really hungry for it,” McLean said. “We lost our season last year and we really wanted to go out as seniors with a bang and play as well as we could and I think we can both say tonight that we played as well as we could.”
Time and time again throughout the season, the Athenians leaned on their seniors in Hale and McLean. And they always stepped up.
“I would say just keeping a positive attitude throughout,” Hale said of the season. “I know some of us had some difficult matches and we fought back.”
Crawfordsville clinched the match with a 7-5, 6-0 win by freshman Samantha Rohr at No. 3 singles over Madison Murphy.
“I was super proud of our three singles player,” Strickland added. “A freshman in a big spot, it came down to her to win the sectional, and she did it. And I love how she competed, especially in that first set and I think that says a lot about her as a freshman and her future.”
Southmont swept No. 1 and 2 doubles. The duo of Bailey Barker and Megan Scheilder defeated Ella Hudson and Cathleen McGrady 6-4, 7-5 at No. 1 doubles, while Marley Jones and Dori Frederick beat Elyse Widmer and Lilly Klingbeil 7-6(4), 7-6(2) in the No. 2 spot.
“It’s a difficult result, but I’m very proud of the way the girls fought tonight,” Southmont coach Rob Reimondo said. “We had a reverse scenario than we had last night. Our singles players brought us through last night and our doubles teams rose to occasion tonight. We just didn’t get it pieced together at the right time, but Crawfordsville is very deep, they’re a great program and good coaches. We knew it was going to be difficult, but I’m glad that we could give them all they could handle.”
The Mounties pushed the Athenians after Crawfordsville won easily 4-1 in early April during their regular season meeting.
“We worked hard all season and everybody got better,” Reimondo added. “I don’t like that we lost, but I like the way that we lost. They had to beat us, we weren’t beating ourselves. They had to take it from us and they did that so they earned the victory.”
Crawfordsville will play the winner of Covington and Fountain Central at Crawfordsville on Tuesday in the first round of the regional.