The Danville girls’ tennis team won two of three singles matches Thursday against Southmont, but the Warriors dropped both doubles in close fashion, as the visiting Mounties pulled out a 3-2 win.
“Southmont earned it, but we were right there with them,” Danville coach Nick Kellum said. “Four out of five matches went to the third set, with multiple tiebreakers.”
At No. 1 singles, Anna Eschbach lost her first set but rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory.
“It was just a matter of her finding her groove,” Kellum said. “I gave her some strategy tips, and she found her game on what was a very cold night.”
All of the competitors dealt with adverse conditions, as the temperature dropped to 50 degrees and the wind whipped across the courts.
“I was talking about wind a lot with them,” Kellum said. “It was definitely a factor, and we talked even in the morning about how it might carry the ball.”
With German exchange student Emmi Kuchenbecker out, Sarah Stiers played up a level at No. 2 singles, and like Eschbach, controlled the final two sets in a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 win.
At No. 3 singles, Sara Shaw fell in straight sets, 0-6, 0-6.
In doubles, the No. 1 tandem of Madeline Motes and Aubree Fox lost in a 6-3, 6-6 (5-7), 4-6 battle. The No. 2 pairing of Molly Dwyer and Marie Summers fell in a similarly tight 6-3, 5-7, 6-6 (5-7) match.
In his first season at the helm, Kellum has worked to stabilize the program after it had four coaches in four years.
“I feel like we’re in a transition period, and I hope to be the head coach here for a while,” Kellum said. “I want to give Danville tennis a name, especially in Hendricks County and our conference.
“I feel like we have the conditioning down, now it’s about working on skills and strategy. The singles were good tonight, but the doubles just need to make more moves at the net.”
Follow Hendricks County Flyer sports writer Brent Glasgow on Twitter @ BGlasgow37.