South girls win Racket by 4-1 score

Apr. 25—The matches on Court 1 and Court 5 were the interesting ones Thursday evening, but host Terre Haute South won the three between them and retained The Racket trophy with a 4-1 victory over Terre Haute in girls high school tennis.

"I thought if we played well, we should win," South coach Dallas Kelsey admitted after the match. "But rankings and records don't mean anything. In North-South it's all about emotion, and you can't count on a match until it's over."

"South is good," said North coach Amanda Lubold, "and to have a player like Sarah [Rowe] at No. 1 sets their whole team up well."

Rowe was in one of the interesting matches at No. 1 singles and it was interesting for a couple of reasons: the improvement the South junior has made since last season, and the gutty effort in a losing cause by North's Yewon Jung.

Part of the improvement for Rowe, who has been the Braves' No. 1 singles player since her freshman year, is a physical one. She's a little bit taller than she was and noticeably stronger, with groundstrokes that were sizzling on Thursday.

"I've been working out," Rowe said shyly. "I've been playing pretty good."

"She worked really hard in the offseason," Kelsey said. "She's hitting the balll really well ... and she's had some opportunities to win some really big matches."

Rowe's strong start won her the first seven games, but Jung wasn't finished, charging back to take a 3-2 lead in the second set before Rowe reasserted herself.

"Yewon played well," said Lubold. "She was able to figure some things out in the second set."

"[Jung is] fun to play," Rowe said. "She's a good player and she played well."

Rowe's win in the second set added to the other South singles wins, by Jordan Miller at No. 2 and Aja Irish at No. 3, clinched the match victory for the Braves, and the doubles team of Jessica Kallubhavi and Savannah Semmler made it 4-0 a few minutes later.

But the other interesting match — maybe the most interesting match — was still going at No. 2 doubles.

North's team of Aubrey Ervin and Kenley Shoults had rolled to a 6-0 win in their first set, but South's Anika Gera and Morgan Tryon won the first three games of the second set. But with a third set (or a super tiebreaker) looming, however, the North pair rallied to win the last five games.

"Two people that were kind of injured," Lubold said, pointing out that Ervin had rolled her ankle during the first set and Shoults was hampered by a wrist injury, "but they found a way to win. They really showed good senior leadership ... and so did Yewon."