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May 23, 2013

H.S. GIRLS' TENNIS: No. 6 Highlanders win another regional crown

Floyd will face Jasper in semistate on Saturday

SELLERSBURG — Floyd Central won its fifth consecutive Silver Creek Regional championship with a 5-0 win over Jeffersonville on Thursday.

The Highlanders will face Jasper (18-2) on Saturday at the Jasper Semistate with a berth in the state finals on the line.

On Thursday, the sixth-ranked Floyd (18-4) swept all five positions from the Red Devils in straight sets.

“I think Jeff played really well,” Floyd coach Rick Miller said. “I give them a lot of credit, but I think that makes it even better for our girls, because they knew they had to earn it. Our girls really stepped up to the plate.”

All five Highlander positions remained unbeaten during their post-season run.

“That’s a good sign,” Miller said. “You have to have confidence and momentum. One of our goals was to win 5-0 so everyone would have a feeling of confidence and momentum going into the [semistate]. The girls took over. They were a little nervous to start with and you could tell, but then we got momentum and took over all five spots. We hit the pedal. I’m really proud of the girls. We’re really happy with what happened today.”

Olivia Boesing blew through sub Katie Bowen, who was replacing the injured Morgan Reilly, without surrendering a game at No. 1 singles. Freshman Alex Jamison also had an easy time getting by Kaitlin Wunsch at No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-1.

The singles player Miller was most happy about was Alexis Applegate, who earned a 6-3, 6-4 win over previously-unbeaten Macy Lancaster at No. 2 singles.

“[The regional title] meant a lot to Alexis,” Miller said. “The win over Lancaster gives her confidence. She played fantastic. [Lancaster is] a good player and Alexis played good today. She’s getting better every match. She raised her game up today.”

The one spot that concerned Miller most heading into Thursday’s match was at No. 1 doubles where Jeff had a strong veteran pair in Jules Jenks and Emily Lewis. Whitney Batliner and Dana Franks beat the Jeff duo 6-4, 6-3. Catherine Dauby and Erin Patterson won 6-3, 6-1 over Rachel Williams and Larissa Neville at No. 2 doubles.

Floyd fell to Saturday’s opponent — the third-ranked Wildcats — 3-2 to open the season on April 2. Miller is confident that the Highlanders can overcome Jasper in a second meeting, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday.

“We’ve got a little different team than we did then,” Miller said. “I think everybody’s improved and are in the spots their supposed to be in. The pieces of the puzzle fit together.

“I’m not overlooking anybody, but I feel like we can win Saturday. We just can’t have an off-day. They’re going to make us earn it, like Jeff did. I think these girls are strong and determined and they really want this.”

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