Fourth-ranked Carroll is on a mission: get further than last year.
The Chargers took one more step forward with that goal with their third consecutive regional championship with a 5-0 win over Huntington North at Carroll on Tuesday.
The Chargers (27-0) fell to Cathedral 4-1 in the state quarterfinals last year, leaving a bitter taste in the wake of the early exit.
“I think making it to state last year and getting beaten in that first round and knowing that we were almost good enough to compete with just about anybody down there,” coach Kyle Stoffel said. “I think that motivated everybody to work hard on the offseason to the point where this year, now there are only a couple teams in the state that you would favor over us, I think.”
At No. 1 singles, Sydney Jackson defeated Jessica Henline 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, Katelyn Van Wyngarden won against Kassidy Thompson 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 and Bailey Newman won 6-0, 6-0 over Tarah Zumbrun at No. 3.
“It’s great,” Jackson said. “We have (won the regional) the past couple years but every year, it’s a new feeling and a new experience, especially with the rest of the girls, it’s really fun.
“Every year, the more we go on, we get to spend a lot of time together so we get to really know each other and I think every year, we’ve become closer and closer so it’s really fun when we do win and win at regionals because we’re close and it’s a really good feeling.”
In doubles, Mia Toscos and Lauren Van Wyngarden won 6-0, 6-0 over Macy Wohlford and Jule Nogaj at No. 1, and Katie Beier and Maria Casiano won over Braxtyn Maroney and Leann Ringenberg 6-2, 6-3.
“We knew they were a good team,” Lauren Van Wyngarden said of the Vikings. “No. 1 doubles, specifically, they split sets with Canterbury who can rally and put up a good match. We knew we weren’t going to skate through regionals and that we’d have to give it our best shot and play hard.
“Obviously you have to come in here with the same mindset of playing a difficult team because it is a regional championship and you can’t make assumptions. It’s postseason, every team brings it for postseason so we were just going in focused and ready to play.”
Lauren Van Wyngarden and Toscos played in the individual doubles championship last year so their goals are two-fold: first with the team then individually.
“We have to make sure we don’t think too far in the future,” Toscos said. “I’ve been to state the past two years for doubles; she’s been the past year with me and we are looking forward to going again but we know that this year is going to be a little more challenging to get to state this year so we have to take it one match at a time and not think too far ahead.”
The Chargers will face No. 2 Cathedral in the Homestead Semistate at 10 a.m. Saturday in a rematch of last year’s state opener. The Irish defeated Hamilton Southeastern 4-1 to win the Indianapolis North Central regional.