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Concordia semistate

Game, set, match for Cavaliers in tennis

Team, No. 1 singles player eliminated

Barnes
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette
Canterbury’s Georgia Lea Williams hits the ball during her doubles match against Indianapolis North Central on Saturday. Williams and teammate, Jaclyn Sider, lost.

– Two seasons came to a close for Canterbury on Saturday at the Concordia Semistate.

Tenth-ranked Canterbury fell 4-1 to No. 2 Indianapolis North Central, and the Cavs’ No. 1 singles player Leah Barnes lost 7-5, 6-4 to Claire Reifeis.

It is the first time Barnes’ season ended before the individual state finals. Players unbeaten in the postseason at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles keep advancing even though their teams were eliminated.

“(Reifeis) came out in the first set banging it and keeping the ball deep, and I don’t see that a lot in the regular season,” Barnes said. “I was like, ‘Alright, I am going to have to adjust.’ After the first set was finished, I was like ‘It’s a new set and just come out and go for it.’ I did that, but I came up short; she just played very well.”

Barnes, a junior, was the state runner-up two years ago and lost in the state semifinals last year.

“It’s weird not to go to state and losing so early,” Barnes said. “It’s frustrating and upsetting, but it’s a motivator.”

Barnes finished the season 24-1. Reifeis improved to 25-1.

“Leah’s match went back and forth, but she just couldn’t quite get it done,” Canterbury coach Jerry Gerig said. “Her serve wasn’t on where she wanted it to be and made little impact.”

Canterbury (18-2) only took one match from North Central (21-2), winning at No. 3 singles with Ava Vanhelfteren’s 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Sydney Roach.

“We met a really strong Indy school today, and I thought we competed very well,” Gerig said.

Chelsea Himes lost at No. 2 singles to Caroline McAuley 6-0, 6-0.

“(McAuley) was like no one we have seen this year at 2,” Gerig said. “She would be a strong No. 1 on any other team.”

The Cavaliers’ No. 1 doubles team of Georgia Lea Williams and Jaclyn Sider lost to Alexandra McKinzie and Katherine Sommers 6-4, 6-1, and the No. 2 doubles team of Eleanor McCandless and Meghana Pamidi fell to Cassie Davis and Katherine Keesling 6-3, 6-1.

Canterbury went to the state semifinals two years ago but lost in the sectional finals a year ago.

“I am proud of what we accomplished this year,” Gerig said. “We have the same group of girls back this year, and we were 8-7 last year. To end up 18-2 with the same group shows how much experience they gained between this year and last year.”

The Cavaliers’ only other loss this year was to Terre Haute North in the season opener.

“Leah and Ava will be back, and we have some young JV players who ready to step up,” Gerig said. “We should be good next year too. Hopefully we can build on the semistate and see if we can come back even more prepared next year.”

The Panthers advance to the state quarterfinals next Friday at Carmel. Elkhart Memorial (18-0) won the other semistate 4-1 over No. 22 Marion.

gjones@jg.net

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