LINDEN — Southmont girls’ tennis overcame a slow start to defeat North Montgomery 3-2 on Thursday night.
No. 2 singles player Hanna Long and the No. 1 doubles duo of Bailey Barker and Megan Scheidler both erased early 1-0 holes to win in three sets and help seal the win for the Mounties.
“We started off slow and it wasn’t looking too good,” Southmont coach Rob Reimondo said. “I thought that the girls showed a lot of fortitude and patience to claw themselves back into the matches. To win the way we did tonight was exceptional and frankly it will be memorable.”
Barker and Scheidler dropped the first set to North Montgomery’s Joy Davis and Allison Guard 6-1, before winning the second set 7-6(7-1) to force a third set. In the decisive set, Barker and Scheidler got ahead 4-1, but Davis and Guard tied it twice at 4-4 and 5-5, before the Mountie duo prevailed with a 7-5 win.
“I’ve been excited with the chemistry they’ve started to have from the beginning of the season until now,” North Montgomery coach Shannon Collier said about her No. 1 doubles team. “I feel like they stayed together tonight, no matter if they were winning or losing, they kept talking and trying to come up with a plan together and encourage each other.”
After dropping the first set 6-1, Long beat Sydnee Turner 6-1, 6-1 in the second and third sets. The Mounties picked up their third win at No. 2 doubles as Dori Frederick and Marley Jones defeated Courtney Engels and Paige Hudson 6-3, 6-1.
“Honestly we tried to just tell them to play their games,” Reimondo said. “I think in the first sets in all three of those matches, we were playing their (North Montgomery) game, and I think once we realized we could play our game, we prevailed, but it was close. I’ll give credit to North, they were very strong and pushed us to the limit tonight.”
At No. 3 singles, North Montgomery’s Carlie DeSmet dropped the first set 6-3, but came back to beat Madison Murphy 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. North Montgomery’s Kaitlyn Greenlee beat Mallory Murphy 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 singles.
“At no point did I feel like they gave up anywhere,” Collier added. “I was happy that we were keeping our head in the game and trying to figure out what we needed to do to make changes. They just played better than us tonight. They just beat us.”
North Montgomery celebrated seniors Davis and Greenlee.
“I was talking earlier about just the example they’ve set for the younger girls,” Collier said about the duo. “Whether I ask the girls to help work concession stands or I had a winter workout, I’ve been excited to see their growth on and off the court. They’ve really put in the effort outside the season and they’ve grown tremendously in their four years and really been leaders for our team this year, especially for the girls who haven’t played before.”
Southmont host Frankfort tonight to close out the regular season. Both the Chargers and the Mounties will compete at the Crawfordsville IHSAA Sectional next week.