Lady Jets earn third tennis sectional crown
Adams Central's varsity tennis team poses with their new, polished sectional trophy after defeating Huntington North, 3-2 on Friday night. (Photo provided by Clint Anderson)
KINGSLAND— Adams Central fought through the odds on Wednesday and Thursday to make it to their sixth sectional championship in as many years and on Friday night, the Lady Jets earned their second title in that run, only their third in school history with a 3-2 win over Huntington North.
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"We expect to be in the championship each year," AC coach Mike Hower noted after the match. "We don't always win, but we expect to get there. Eventually you have to win a few and we finally did it."
The Lady Jets last won in 2010 and before that, only the 2001 edition of the AC tennis team had ever won the sectional before. After making six straight title matches, winning a second title was a huge lift to coach Hower and the tennis program.
"These girls knew they could get there. They have a whole lot of confidence in each other knowing that if you go out there and do your job, the team will win."
In the championship round on Friday night the Jets ran into the team that handed them their second loss, 4-1 just a few weeks before. It was the singles play of Adams Central that looked strong in the early going, despite the fact that the Jets' bread and butter this season has been their doubles play with their one and two combining for an impressive 33-5 on the year. Coach Hower was pleasantly surprised by the play of his singles players.
"I did not expect to win so quickly at two and three singles!" the coach exclaimed. "Their strength is singles, ours was doubles and we put all our stock in it. Our singles typically take turns winning against teams so tonight it was cool to see our singles take care of business when we needed it."
AC's Lydia Johnson took care of Bruemleve in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1 to earn AC's first point early. It was the only match of the day that ended in just two sets.
Huntington North's Wuensch jumped out to an early 6-2 lead on Jessica Ripley at number one singles, but the junior fought back hard earning the second set, 6-2 to even the match. The Vikings' number one player found her bearings, however, and delivered Ripley a swift, 6-1 finish in the final set tying the overall score at 1-1.
Shortly after, AC earned their second point of the match when Laura Sigworth won her match at number three singles over the Vikings' Leedy. After going ahead in the first set, 5-3, Sigworth watched Leedy come all the way back to force a tie-break, but the junior buckled down and won the first set tie-break, 7-6 (9-7). Sensing the momentum swing, the Lady Jet would finish off Leedy, 6-3 in the second set.