By GREG MENGELT
NEW ALBANY —
Jacqueline Hollkamp is certainly not a newcomer on the Southern Indiana high school girls’ tennis scene.
She has been succeeding for the Providence varsity for four years.
However, Hollkamp has often been overshadowed by Floyd Central’s Olivia Boesing and Jeffersonville’s Morgan Reilly for the past three seasons.
From the start of her senior campaign, Hollkamp has been determined to come out of the shadows.
“She’s really mentally tough right now,” Providence coach Vince DiNoto said of Hollkamp, who’s 9-1 in singles and 1-1 in doubles so far in 2013. “She’s going out and saying, ‘I can win this,’ without any question in her mind. That makes a big difference.”
Hollkamp’s season started with a victory over New Albany senior standout Erin Kanii to win the No. 1 singles title at the New Albany Invitational earlier this season.
“After I won the New Albany tournament, I had a confidence boost,” Hollkamp said. “That helped me out. I’m really happy about my season so far.”
For three years, Hollkamp had no answer for Reilly. She faced the Jeffersonville star twice a year for three years without a win.
Until April 8, that is.
Hollkamp defeated Reilly — her first win against Clark County’s top player the past three years — in straight sets 6-4, 7-5 in an early-season matchup.
“As a senior, I’ve had a lot more confidence in my game,” Hollkamp analyzed the triumph. “That’s made a big difference. [Morgan’s] helped me get better, knowing that I would have to get better to stay on the same playing field. She has a lot of tools in her bag. She’s made me work harder so I don’t fall short.”
“[Hollkamp] played a great match,” said Jeffersonville coach and Morgan’s father, Mark Reilly, following the match.
Despite Hollkamp’s win over Reilly, the Red Devils prevailed over the Pioneers 3-2 in the regular-season matchup. In recent years, the Devils have dominated Providence, winning the past three Jeffersonville Sectional titles.
It took a 7-6 win in the second set by Jeff’s Larissa Neville to defeat Providence’s Alison Primavera at No. 3 singles and give Jeff the 3-2 victory. The Pioneers may be that close to challenging the Red Devils for their first sectional title since 2009.
“It was 3-2, so we need one more point,” Hollkamp said. “We’re interchanging some people to try to find that one more point. I think we’ll be able to find that.”
“We’re experimenting with some different lineups right now,” DiNoto said. “But it’s going to be a close matchup, no matter what.”
If the Pioneers are going to beat Jeff, Hollkamp will probably have to repeat her performance from April 8 and beat Reilly again.
“I’m confidence I can beat her again,” Hollkamp said of a potential Round 2 with Reilly. “It will be tough. It will be close. It’s for a lot more than just a regular match. It will mean a lot more. It’s for the sectional.”
“We need to win at [No.] 1 singles if we’re going to compete with Jeff,” DiNoto said. “She’s the player we depending on day-in and day-out that she’s going to win her matches. And obviously, she’s done that throughout the season.”
SINGLES PERFORMER OF THE WEEK
Morgan Reilly, Jeffersonville
Reilly went 2-0, winning both matches in straight sets, as the Red Devils went unbeaten at Saturday’s Jeffersonville Double Duals. Reilly beat Gibson Southern’s Haley Decker 6-3, 6-2 and Loogootee’s Emily Bateman 6-0, 6-0.
TOP SINGLES PERFORMANCES
• Abigail Hurtgen, Clarksville: Hurtgen won 6-4, 6-1 over Austin’s Rachel Bekika during Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Eagles; defeated Providence’s Alison Primavera at No. 2 singles in Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Pioneers.
• Christine McCaffrey, Floyd Central: McCaffrey won the No. 3 singles title at Saturday’s Crawfordsville Invitational, helping the Highlanders to the team title.
• Abby Ellis, Borden: Ellis earned a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Henryville’s Jordan Jeffers in the Braves 5-0 Southern Athletic Conference triumph on Friday.
• Olivia Boesing, Floyd Central: Boesing went unbeaten and took the No. 1 singles crown at Saturday’s Crawfordsville Invitational.
• Sierra Purlee, Eastern: Purlee defeated Charlestown’s Sarah Embry 7-5, 6-4 in the Musketeers’ 4-1 victory on Thursday.
• Erin Kanii, New Albany: Kanii went 2-0 in Saturday’s Jeffersonville Double Duals, dropping just four games in two matches.
DOUBLES PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK
Alex Jamison and Erin Patterson, Floyd Central: Jamison and Patterson defeated Lauren McCarty and Amanda Ahmel of Penn 3-6, 6-2, 15-13 to clinch the Highlanders’ team title at Saturday’s Crawfordsville Invitational.
TOP DOUBLES PERFORMANCES
• Anne Mattox and Racquel Burch, New Albany: Mattox and Burch went 2-0 at No. 2 doubles, helping the Bulldogs go unbeaten, during Saturday’s Jeffersonville Double Duals. The Bulldog duo came through with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Gibson Southern’s Taylor Kiesel and Lauren Stucky to give New Albany a 3-2 victory.
• Kelsey Haas and Mary Ann Fitzpatrick, Providence: Haas and Fitzpatrick earned a 6-2, 6-1 win over Clarksville’s Bailey Duggan and Sharon Garcia as the Pioneers defeated the cross-town rival Generals 3-2.
• Kristin Potter and Halie Mueller, Eastern: The Musketeer duo topped Charlestown’s Jessica Renn and Suzannah Fielding on Thursday.
• Bailee Kruer and Mckenzie Owens, Borden: Kruer and Owens defeated Marisa Thomasson and Kendra Tanner of Henryville on Friday.