Jets, Squaws advance to finals
STIMPSON BATTLES â€” Senior Abby Stimpson returns a ball during sectional play at Norwell. Stimpson won her match as the Squaws rolled to the finals. (Photo by Crystal Cochran)
OSSIAN—Bellmont posted its second straight 5-0 win in as many nights and Adams Central avenged one of its four season losses Thursday night to assure an all-Adams County final in the IHSAA tennis sectional being held at Norwell High School.
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Or as Bellmont tennis coach coach Tom Smith succinctly noted "we know AC and they know us. It should be a good match."
Bellmont pounded out its win with solid singles play while doubles combination continued to show improvement.
"Our number two doubles team (Andrea Fruchte and Shelby Kiess) did it again. They beat a team tonight (Addie Williams and Jessica Rupright) they had lost to earlier in the year," Smith praised. The score of that match saw Norwell win the first set 6-3 but Fruchte and Kiess rallied for a 6-4, 7-5 triumph.
Abby Stimpson and Maddie Albert rolled over Rachel Phillips and Taylor Sprinkle 6-1, 6-4 at number one doubles and all three singles players easily posted straight set wins as well. Allison Gutierrez was a 6-2, 6-0 victor over Brittany Barger (she's lost only two games in her two sectional matches) at number one, Maddi Werling downed Eden Chaney 6-2, 6-1, and Alysha Helmrich blanked Lyndsey Havener 6-0 in the first set before settling for a 6-4 win in the second round.
In a match closer match on other Norwell courts, Adams Central flipped a 4-1 loss to Bluffton into a 3-2 victory to advance to tonight's championship match.
Jessica Ripley had the key win in the match for the Jets as she downed Megan Evans 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at number two singles.
"This was the third time this season Jessica has played Evans who is a very strong player and has beaten Jessica both ties. Each time they played, Jessica closed the gap and for the second night in a row, she beat a girl that beat her in the regular season," complimented AC tennis boss Michael Hower.
At number three singles, Adams Central picked up a quick win as Annessa Reiff of Bluffton had to forfeit her match to Alisen Barger after suffering an ankle injury and was unable to continue to play. Barger had taken the first set 6-4 prior to the injury.
The third AC victory was at number one doubles as juniors Madison Johnson and Emily Parrish easily jumped out to a 6-0, 6-1 triumph over sophomores Amanda Stone and Allison Williams.
Kara Fiechter will continue on in the state individual singles tournament for Bluffton as she notched a 6-3, 6-1 win over Hali Wendel at number one singles. The number two Tiger doubles team of Hannah Gilliam and Gina Eisenhut took a long 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 match from Breann Stucky and Hannah Harvey for their other point.
"Although we have been improving and are playing our best tennis at sectional, it looks like Bellmont is really playing amazing tennis right now," said Hower, adding "I think this will be the third time in four years we will meet them in the final. I think it will be a fun match and a great challenge for us."
The Jets are 11-4 going into the title match.