Thursday, May 25, 2017 8:40 pm
Carroll rolls to girls tennis regional title
CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette
A dose of double jeopardy proved no obstacle for the Carroll girls tennis team.
Matched against Adams Central in a regional championship for the second straight season, the Chargers came out on top again, dominating 5-0 Thursday afternoon to claim the title at the Carroll Regional and advance to Saturday's Homestead Semistate 10 a.m.
"They're very well-coached," Carroll coach Kyle Stoffel said of the Jets, who returned key contributors from last year, including No. 1 singles player Jenna Lehman.
The Chargers improved to 21-3 without needing a third set in any match. Still, they were not surprised to see Adams Central again and felt facing the Jets forced them to bring their best level of performance.
"They tend to have girls on their team who are multi-sport athletes who also play volleyball and probably a little basketball, and they're athletic, so they are used to competing," Stoffel said. "They love to compete. That's one of the differences that sets them apart from teams that are about the same skill level as them."
The toughest battle was at No. 2 doubles, where junior Hannah Wallace and sophomore Katie Beier eventually prevailed 6-2, 6-4 over sophomore Kyndal Roe and junior Lily Kintz.
At No. 1 doubles, sophomores Lauren VanWyngarden and Mia Toscos won 6-1, 6-0 against senior Randi Bebout and junior Sarah Liter.
"Not really (any surprises)," Stoffel said. "They played like they have all season with a lot of confidence. That's important to have, and they've got it."
At No. 1 singles, junior Sydney Jackson impressively prevailed 6-0, 6-0 against Lehman, considered one of the area's better players.
Alternate arrangements had been made to move play to Empowered Sports Club, but the weather was merely windy and overcast after being postponed from Wednesday.
"I was happy to play outside, because we play outside all season," Jackson said. "Going inside is definitely a different change of scene, and we're just glad it didn't rain."
Another 6-0, 6-0 decision came in No. 3 singles as sophomore Bailey Newman outdid the third of Adams Central's seniors, Grace Faurote.
At No. 2 singles, freshman Katelyn VanWyngarden won 6-1, 6-2 over sophomore Madison DeRoo.
"I've played her before, and she's gotten a lot better," Katelyn VanWyngarden said. "This time she could handle my power and was a lot more consistent, so I had to make sure I was equally as consistent."
There were tears in the eyes of a few of the Jets as they gathered for a huddle at the end with coach Michael Hower, who congratulated them on their season.
A few feet away, the Chargers celebrated their third regional title, all in the last five years.
"One of the players, when I said that, right away she said it just feels normal," Stoffel said. "For her, as a sophomore, it does."