Back For More: Bull Dogs again figure to lead area girls tennis teams

Columbus North has dominated the local girls tennis scene in the recent past, having won seven consecutive sectional and five straight regional championships.

The Bull Dogs again figure to be a solid favorite to defend those titles and make it back to the state tournament after going 20-3 and falling to Evansville Memorial 3-2 in last year’s semistate.

Here is a look the Bull Dogs and the other area girls tennis teams heading into the 2022 season:

Columbus North

The Bull Dogs return one of the top 1-2 punches in the state with senior Ashlie Wilson and sophomore Kathryn Wilson at No. 1 and No. 2 singles.

“If I keep them both at No. 1 and 2 singles, we’re going in for the most part knowing we’re going to be up 2-0 and looking for that third spot,” North coach Kendal Hammel said.

That third victory sometimes proved to be a little bit of a challenge for the Bull Dogs last season. Senior Tiffany Fu returns at No. 1 doubles and could team with freshman Aya Saad or freshman Annable Sun, with the one that doesn’t play there ending up at No. 3 singles.

Senior Sydney Cooper and Leah George return at No. 2 doubles, but are battling for those spots with juniors Siri Poludasu, who played some No. 3 singles last season, and Zoe Bishop.

“As a coach, I’m very fortunate,” Hammel said. “I have some very good players on the team, and I have very good depth this year. We have very good players coming in. Our goal is to get to state and do better than what we did last year. I think we can compete with anybody. “

The only thing that has been able to slow down the Bull Dogs this season has been the weather.

“We’re looking forward to a good year,” Hammel said. “The nucleus is there. We have the talent, we have the players coming back, but we’ve not been able to get out and play much at all. It’s not been a good start to the season as far as practices and challenge matches and not getting to be able to get out and play as much as we’d like to. “

Columbus East

The Olympians will try to take a few steps forward after going 3-15 last season.

“Although they were somewhat inexperienced last year, they’re better this year,” East coach Matt Malinsky said. “There are still a lot of people on the team who haven’t been playing for years and years. It’s hard to make up for the lack of repetitions. “

Columbus East’s Cathrine Millwood hits a return shot during a No. 2 singles tennis match against Columbus North at Columbus North High School in Columbus, Ind., Monday, April 12, 2021.

The Republic file photo

Senior Catherine Millwood, who played mostly No. 2 singles and some No. 1 singles, could play No. 1 singles this season. Junior Katie Hong, who played mostly No. 3 singles and some No. 2 singles, could challenge Millwood for that No. 1 spot.

Junior Shruithika Kumar played No. 3 singles, No. 1 doubles and No. 2 doubles last season. Junior Katey Rieckers played No. 2 doubles, and sophomore Ruth Federle played some No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles.

Betsy Hoene and Ashlyn Waddle also played a little varsity last season. Malinsky said he has eight-to-10 other girls who are battling for spots in the lineup.

“We’ll probably try a bunch of different types of combinations to see which one gives us a better chance on a given day,” Malinsky said. “It’s extremely open competition for all those other girls who are looking to prove themselves.”

Hauser

The Jets will be a young team with several varsity newcomers after going 8-8 last year.

Hauser’s Bella Kilps hits a return shot during a sectional tennis No. 2 singles match against Edinburgh at Columbus North High School in Columbus, Ind., Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

The Republic file photo

Sophomore Bella Kilps will make the jump from No. 2 singles to No. 1 singles. Sophomores Lydia Jordan and Addyson Barriger will step in at No. 2 and No. 3 singles.

Senior Gabby Johns and junior Charlie Clark move up from No. 2 doubles to No. 1 doubles. Sophomores Mattie Foster, Gracie Blair and Abby Blair are battling for the two No. 2 doubles spots.

“I am excited for the upcoming season,” Hauser coach Molly Crabtree said. “While we lost a few of our contributing varsity players from the 2021 season, we have a great group of girls that put in a lot of hard work in preparation for this spring season. I cannot wait to see them in action. “

Jennings County

Coach Deron Brown has two daughters in senior Reagan Brown and sophomore Tatum Brown back at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, and their cousin, sophomore Lucy Brown, likely will step in at No. 3 singles.

Seniors Caitlyn Schuck and Amy Vogel; sophomores Maria Ecker Alberti, Makenzy Carr and Lily Schildknecht and freshmen Sophia Lucas and Mia Silvey are battling for the doubles spots.

The Panthers went 14-9 last season. Sixteen of the 21 girls on this year’s team are new, and 17 are freshmen or sophomores.

“No. 1, 2 and 3 (singles), we should be pretty solid, ”Deron Brown said. “All three of them are better than they were last year, so that’s a good sign. It’s just a matter of who we can find to fill the doubles spots. Hopefully, we’ll be better at the end of the year that at the front. “

Edinburgh

The Lancers pulled out a pair of wins in the sectional last year to advance to the final before falling to North to finish the season 7-11.

Bethany Burton played No. 2 singles last season, and fellow seniors Peyton Bryant and Alyssa Funkhouser played No. 1 doubles. Sophomore Jessica Walsh played No. 3 singles, and junior Gracie Myers and sophomore Zoey Sida played No. 2 doubles.

Also battling for varsity spots are junior Jillian Turner and sophomores Izzy Richardson and Lily Turner and freshmen Maegan Clapper and Mia Dodson.

“We’re expecting a lot of effort, energy and confidence on the court,” Edinburgh coach Rachel O’Brien said. “Our strength as a team is all the confidence we have, and how well the girls work together no matter their level. I think we’re capable of being at the top of our conference. “

Brown County

The Eagles will look to improve on a 7-10 season that ended with a loss to North in the sectional semifinals.

Sophomores Anna Stogsdill and Anna Tipton could move up to No. 1 and No. 2 singles after playing No. 2 and No. 3 singles last season. Senior Mattie Satter, who played No. 2 doubles, could be at No. 3 singles.

Junior Katie Tipton likely will remain at No. 1 doubles, and team with senior Abie Bowman, who played some No. 2 doubles. Also battling for doubles spots are senior Mary Rygiel, sophomores Julia Burt and Cady Kemp and seniors Annika Evenson and Kylie Workman.

“We have a strong group of returning players,” Brown County coach Thom Miller said. “We’re pretty excited. I’m really happy with where we are, based on where we were last year. “

Trinity Lutheran

The Cougars are hoping for another winning season after going 9-8 last year.

Senior Sarah Lemming returns at No. 1 singles, and sophomore Kiley Zabel is back at No. 1 doubles. Sophomore Drew Hubbard, who played No. 3 singles, could move up to No. 2 singles.

Freshman Carson Bowling, sophomore Natalee Martinez and senior Gabby Bleier, a move-in from California, likely will fill three of the other four varsity spots. Batting for the remaining spot are junior Kennedy Royalty and senior Ella Christopher, who is playing for the first time since her freshman year.

“We’re pretty excited,” Trinity coach Julie Lemming said. “We have several fresh faces. Some of these girls have never picked up a racket before, but we’re hopeful. They’re quick learners and have picked up the rules and the scoring system pretty quickly, so we’ll see. “

The 2022 girls tennis schedules for Bartholomew County schools:

Columbus East

Saturday; New Albany; 10 am

Tuesday; at Edinburgh; 5 pm

Wednesday; at Bloomington North; 6 pm

April 8; at Brown County; 4:30 pm

April 11; Columbus North; 4:30 pm

April 14; at Seymour; 4:45 pm

April 18; Greensburg; 5 pm

April 19; at Whiteland; 5 pm

April 21; at Madison; 5 pm

April 23; Jeffersonville; 10 am

April 25; at Jennings County; 5 pm

April 26; Franklin; 5 pm

April 28; Greenwood; 5 pm

May 4; at East Central; 5 pm

May 5; Batesville; 5: 15 pm

May 9; at Seymour in HHC tourney; 5 pm

May 11; HHC tourney at TBA; 5 pm

May 13; HHC placement round; 5 pm

Columbus North

Tuesday; at Center Grove; 5:30 pm

April 7; Seymour; 5 pm

April 9; at Floyd Central Invitational; 9 am

April 11; at Columbus East; 4: 30 pm

April 12; at Floyd Central; 5 pm

April 16; at Jeffersonville Invitational; 9 am

April 18; Bloomington North; 6 pm

April 19; at Southport; 5:30 pm

April 21; at Scottsburg; 6 pm

April 23; at Lawrenceburg; 10 am

April 26; North Oldham (Kentucky) 6 pm

April 29; at Avon Invitational; 6 pm

April 30; at Avon Invitational; 8:30 am am

May 2; vs. Lands Haute South (at Bloomington North); 6 pm

May 3; Bloomington South; 6 pm

May 6; Lands Haute North; 6 pm

May 10; vs. Carmel (at Perry Meridian); 5:30 pm

Hauser

Monday; Oldenburg Academy; 5:30 pm

Tuesday; at Jennings County; 5 pm

April 7; Greensburg; 5 pm

April 9; at Brown County Invitational; 9 am

April 14; Edinburgh; 4:30 pm

April 18; at Morristown; 5 pm

April 19; Rushville; 5 pm

April 21; Waldron; 4:30 pm

April 25; Madison; 5; 30 pm

April 28; Trinity Lutheran; 5:30 pm

May 2; Indianapolis Lutheran; 4; 30 pm

May 5; Eastern Hancock; 5 pm

May 9; at Shelbyville; 4:30 pm

May 10; at Indian Creek; 4:30 pm

May 12; at Southwestern (Shelby); 4:30 pm

May 14; MHC Tournament; 9 am

May 17; at Triton Central; 4:30 pm

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