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High Schools

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Concordia Semistate

Carroll adds to growing list of tennis achievements

The Carroll girls tennis team capped off a week of firsts with a 4-1 win over Northridge on Saturday in the Concordia Semistate.

After winning its first semistate title, No. 10 Carroll (22-2) will play in the state quarterfinals for the first time at 3 p.m. Friday at Carmel against the top-ranked and host Greyhounds (13-0). Carmel beat Munster 4-1 in the LaPorte Semistate.

“I have told several people that I hope bad things don’t have to balance out the good because I am in for a rough upcoming time if that happens,” Carroll coach Kyle Stoffel said. “What a stretch. It has been unbelievable. It is the first time, and hopefully it opens the flood gates for more.”

This coming after the school won its first regional title Wednesday with a 4-1 win over Bishop Dwenger. The Chargers’ landmark season also includes winning all seven of their NHC matches 5-0 and beating Homestead twice in a season for the first time.

“It is all going by so fast,” senior Ashley Hoagland said. “I can’t believe it, still. There are so many firsts. We have broken so many records that I can’t keep them all straight.”

In the semistate, Hoagland beat Northridge’s Ashley Owens 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2 singles after falling behind 3-0 in the first set.

“I didn’t really get discouraged,” Hoagland said. “I just thought I needed to come back and win this, so I changed my game a little bit and played a little differently. I started out hitting harder, and then when I was down 3-0, my strategy was to make her mess up, so I hit it easier and deeper on the court. It helped my confidence … and I had the edge on her, and she got frustrated.”

The rest of the Chargers were also in close battles after the opening sets and stepped up their play in the second sets to win four of the five matches.

“It is a lot of emotions, but in the end, it is so exciting we are all in the same boat,” senior Audrey Mallers said. “It is an exciting week. I knew this team could do it. It is an awesome feeling to be here, finally.”

Two of Saturday’s matches involved tiebreakers.

Rachel Sutton won at No. 1 singles 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) over Sarah Smith, Jenna Jackson won 6-3, 6-1 over Emily Hughes, and Taylor Stanchin and Catherine Curtis won at No. 2 doubles 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 over Emily Erekson and Mackenzie Martin.

“Those two played some of the best tennis I have seen all season today,” Stoffel said of Stanchin and Curtis.

“That was our insurance policy. I can’t say enough about how they played with the situation and setting, and they had the opportunity to really get nervous but instead they stepped up and played great.”

Northridge got its lone win at No. 1 doubles as Olivia Erekson and Courtney Clark beat Mallers and Makenzie Schoeff 6-3, 6-3.

gjones@jg.net

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