Defending champion Rebs hold off Shawe
Saturday, May 24, 2014 5:00 AM
Southwestern dispatched county rival Shawe Memorial 4-1 on Friday in Greensburg to earn a return trip to the IHSAA girls tennis sectional finals.
The Rebels will face Greensburg in the title match for the second-consecutive season. The host Pirates beat Madison 5-0 on Friday to set up the rematch.
"We have a great opportunity to get that back-to-back sectional titles but we will have to be focused from the start because Greensburg is a very good team," Southwestern coach Kenny Garrett said. "Shawe really came ready to play as I warned my team they would. I was very happy with our play ... I am so proud of these young ladies for their willpower to just flat out get it done when they had to. I preach mental toughness all the time and that certainly came out in them tonight."
While the final team score was lopsided, three of the five matches went three sets between the two rivals.
The Rebels' Abbey Garrett beat Shawe's Taylor Grote 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 at No. 1 singles and Sarah Anderson knocked off Claire Higgins 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2 singles. Meredith Webber and Heather Totten beat Lauren Cieslinski and Hannah Storm 7-6, 4-6, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles.
The other two matches weren't as close. Southwestern's Jordan Worcester and Kearstin Bruther beat Jenna Armstrong and Carson Hambrick 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles.
Megan Hill picked up Shawe's lone win, beating Emily Watkins 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 singles.
"It was one of the closest tennis matches I've ever been a part of tonight. We lost 4-1 but could have won 4-1. We were in almost every match until the very end," Shawe coach Steve Sims said. "I am very proud of my girls for their efforts tonight. They played hard and really played like it was sectionals and we needed to win. We just couldn't get over the hump."
Southwestern, now 14-3 on the season, faces Greensburg at 10 a.m. today for the championship. The Rebels will be seeking their second-straight sectional crown and just 23rd in school history for all sports.
Shawe ends the season 10-8 but returns virtually its entire roster next season.
"We will miss our one senior Taylor Grote but will be returning the rest of the team and have some great talent coming up from the junior high ranks," Sims said. "I believe the future is very bright for Shawe girls tennis and I'm grateful to be a part of it."
Madison closed out its season with a 2-13 record. No other details of that match were available.