Jasper girls bow out; Terwiske still unbeatenMay 22, 2019
By LYNN ADAMS
JASPER — There were plenty of Wildcat hugs and tears Wednesday evening after Jasper hosted Washington in the finals of the IHSAA girls tennis regional.
Unfortunately, they were not tears of joy, and the hugs were those of consolation. Because for the first time in recent memory, the Wildcats will not play at semistate Saturday or in the state finals like they’ve done the past four consecutive seasons.
That’s because Washington won all three singles matches in straight sets to earn the championship. Jasper dominated doubles play, but finished on the short end of a 3-2 team score.
“I learned a long time ago, you’ve got to win three [matches]. Two doesn’t do you any good,” Jasper head coach Scott Yarbrough pointed out.
“We were on a current four-year streak [of going to state], which comes to a grinding halt when you lose a match in the regional. We knew what we were risking. We risked a 29-year sectional streak, and pulled one out. It’s part of competition. It’s going to be tougher on the girls because they’re invested and they’ve put in time. It’s difficult on me, but they’re going to be a little bit emotional. It’ll take them a day or two. We’re not used to losing before graduation.”
The Wildcats made quick work of the Hatchets in doubles play. The No. 1 doubles team of Suchi Bandaru and Josie Yarbrough blew past Kenlie Barger and Isabella Thorne 6-1, 6-0, and the No. 2 doubles tandem of Hadley Meyer and Delaney Wigand dispatched Sophia Davis and Quincee Healy 6-0, 6-2.
Unfortunately for Jasper, Washington’s scores in singles were similarly one-sided. Taylor Marshall lost in No. 1 singles to Ali Barber 6-2, 6-2, and Priyal Sharma could not keep up with Alaina Thorne 6-2, 6-0.
The outcome to decide the regional championship came down to No. 3 singles, where Emma Reutepohler battled Kencia Levasseur. After losing the first set 6-1, Reutepohler was stubborn in a 6-4 loss that touched off a Washington celebration.
“[Washington] had a nice win [Tuesday] night [against 17-0 Northeast Dubois], and they followed it up with a nice win tonight. They did what they needed to do. They knocked off Dubois, they knocked off Jasper, and they get to move on. That’s the way sports works,” Yarbrough said pragmatically.
“We had a lineup that we thought would give us a better chance to get back to the state finals, and that’s the lineup we went with. I’m not blaming anybody on our team — I’m so proud of our three singles girls — but they were put in tough spots. It’s nobody’s fault. We knew when we made the change, we knew what we were doing, everybody was aware of what we were doing. And we knew that opened up the possibility of losing to a Pike Central or losing to a Bloomfield or losing to a Washington. And the one team that probably scared me the most was Washington, simply because I knew they had three solid singles players, and when we beat them earlier in the year, the 2 and 3 singles matches — even though we won the 3 singles — it was really close, and we lost at 2. It was the same two girls; it was the exact same matchups. We weren’t sure how Taylor would do at 1 against their girl, so that matchup was a little bit up in the air. We felt like we would dominate the doubles, which we did,” Yarbrough said.
While the Wildcats are eliminated from the postseason as a team, Bandaru and Yarbrough remain in contention for individual honors by virtue of being undefeated in sectional and regional. The doubles team will play Kadee Claridge and Kaitlyn Mincey of Barr-Reeve on Saturday for the doubles sectional championship.
Terwiske remains undefeated
Chloe Terwiske of Northeast Dubois heads into Saturday’s singles sectional championship with an eye-popping 21-0 record after a white-knuckle 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) win over Alison Hein of Vincennes Lincoln on Wednesday at the Ed Yarbrough Tennis Complex.
Terwiske looked to be headed for an easy outing, winning the first set 6-2. But she fell behind 0-4 in the second set in what appeared to become a long evening. But the resilient junior battled back to take a 5-4 lead, before Hein forced a tie-breaker at 6-6.
“I was definitely hitting the ball more solid the first set than I was in the second set,” Terwiske observed. “I was down 0-4 at one point [in the second set], so to come back 5-4 was really good. I was finding my game. It felt good to win that match and prepare for Saturday.”
Terwiske said going forward, she needs to keep her focus the entire match and keep consistently hitting the ball solidly. “I can’t get into spurts where I lose four games in a row or where I fall flat or just get in my own head about losing points. I have to keep my mental toughness during those matches and play my match.”
A year ago, Terwiske advanced to regional play before bowing out. In order to make it to another regional, she’ll need to get past Kylee Shelton of Bloomfield.
“She’s not one that you have to micromanage and talk to a lot. She doesn’t like somebody in her ear at all times,” Jeeps head coach Tina Terwiske said of her daughter. “She knows what she needs to do, and sometimes she’ll have a let down in the middle [like Wednesday]. But she finds a way, so hopefully she can continue that way.
“From here, competition definitely steps up a notch when you get this far in the tournament. She’s going to have to avoid the distractions and stay focused and hit the ball like she’s capable of doing, and I think she’ll be all right,” the coach said.
“Late in the season like this — graduation weekend, all this going on — there’s a ton of things you can be distracted about. Fortunately she’s not a senior, so you don’t have that to contend with, so hopefully she can keep a clear head going forward.”
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