News and Tribune

May 4, 2013

TENNIS: Championship likely a formality for Highlanders

New Albany opens HHC with Seymour; Jeff gets Madison


> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Floyd Central may have its best team ever and its best team ever may be playing its best tennis right now.

The eighth-ranked Highlanders are coming off tournament wins at Crawfordsville and Zionsville, two fields that included six ranked teams. Now Katherine Dauby has returned from her illness and freshman Alex Jamison, who just moved from doubles to No. 3 singles, went unbeaten over the weekend at Zionsville.

“Last weekend is about the best we’ve played all year,” Floyd coach Rick Miller said.

“They’re a nice team,” Jeffersonville coach Mark Reilly said. “I think teams are going in to compete well and hopefully steal a spot and get to 4-1. Floyd has the best team they’ve ever had, I think.”

The Highlanders will open Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament play on Monday at Jennings County and will face either New Albany or Seymour in Wednesday’s semifinals. However, the top challenger could be Columbus East, which is ranked 30th in Indiana.

“If they beat New Albany and Jeff, [the Olympians] are a pretty good team,” Miller said. “If I was a betting man, I’d guess we’ll be playing them on Friday night [for the championship]. We played them last year and they have everybody back. They don’t play the schedule we do, so it’s hard to judge.”

“They have a really nice team and I don’t think anybody can match up,” New Albany coach Bob Dusch said of the Highlanders. “East is pretty good and has pretty decent players and doubles teams, but I don’t think even they can beat Floyd.”

Miller’s goal isn’t just for his team to win the HHC, but to put to rest any hope any team has of beating the Highlanders in the upcoming IHSAA tournament.

“I think my mission for us is for all five spots to win all three days,” Miller said. “That way, we’ll be tuned up and all cylinders will be running on the Ferrari. Then we’ll be where we want to be.”

New Albany will go to Seymour for its opener on Monday. The Bulldogs and Owls haven’t met this year and their reward is a trip to the Knobs in the second round.

“I understand they’re pretty decent and very athletic,” Dusch said of Seymour. “We’ve been up and down. Our only consistent performers have been [senior twins] Erin and Marin [Kanii, at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively] and No. 2 doubles [Racquel Burch and Anne Mattox].”

Jeffersonville will visit Madison in the first round on Monday, but the Red Devils will be at home the rest of the tournament. Jeff should have no problem moving past the Cubs, which it beat 5-0 earlier this season, and should face East in the semifinal.

In the first match against East, the Devils lost 3-2. The Olympians dominated the No. 2 and No. 3 singles matches and Jeff easily won both doubles matches. The only close match was between Devils’ senior Morgan Reilly and East’s Ashlie Hasson at No. 1 singles.

Which team advances to face the Highlanders in the championship figures to come down to No. 1 singles.

“I think with Morgan, the first set was very competitive [against Hasson],” Coach Reilly said. “She was right there with her. If Morgan comes out and plays a nice match, she definitely has a chance to win.”