Jeeps flip the script, defeat Vikings for sectional glory



LOOGOOTEE — The Jeeps had been here before.

For the past few years, the Northeast Dubois girls tennis teams have put together dominant regular seasons on their way to a berth in the sectional finals. But each time they would make it to the tournament’s peak, the Barr-Reeve Vikings would be there to play the spoiler role.

However, they were not ready to let the cloud of heartbreak turn into rain and the Jeeps went forth to rewrite their narrative as they defeated the Vikings 3-2 enroute to Northeast Dubois' first sectional championship crown since 2013.

“We played our best, we left everything out there on the court,” said junior Olivia Schroering, one half of the Jeeps’ No. 2 doubles team that clinched the first victory of the night against Hunter Emmons and Grace Madison 6-3, 6-3. “We’ve done that this entire season. There hasn't been a game where we let up.”

“Been four years in the making for me,” added senior Delaney Rasche, Schroering’s partner. “It’s good to be here and get a win.”

Junior Chole Terwiske faced a bit of an uphill battle in her No.1 match as she surrendered the first set against Moriah Bullock 3-6. But during the break she refocused on being more aggressive to get in her groove instead of sitting back and reacting to Bullocks shots. She took the next two sets 6-2, 6-2.

“I came out and started slow, it was all on me,” she said. “Once I kept seeing the ball better and stepping into the court I was finding my own rhythm instead of banking on her. Once I was stepping in, hitting my balls in, and getting what I needed back it was a game changer for me.”

Sophomore No. 2 player Olivia Rasche felt that she earned a full measure of redemption for her loss on Wednesday as she defeated Kinley Schrock 6-3, 6-4.

The season was a trying one for her as she worked to get comfortable in the No. 2 singles spot. But all year she worked on not beating herself up when things didn’t play out the way she wanted, and she cashed in on that mental toughness in getting the sweep on Thursday.

“It feels really rewarding, especially since I lost yesterday,” she said. “I just had to keep going and pushing through. It was hard coming out of that mind space and to realize that it’s a different match and a new day. Coming back really felt good. I just had to cheer on the rest of my team and hopefully help them push through.”

Jeep head coach Tina Terwiske held her breath the entire match as she worried about her team facing another disappointment as they had in years past by beating the Vikings in the regular season, but not being able to translate the experience into a sectional win. When the third win came in after Chloe’s three-set match, a wave of relief passed through her.

“These girls deserve it, every bit of it,” she said. “The last two years we felt like it was right there, so had this slipped away it would have been devastating. We got the three points in the same three spots we had in season. All the fan support and family support have been awesome. I wanted this for them, they’re fantastic.”

Another point of pride for the team stems from the undefeated record they have been able to maintain throughout the spring.

Seventeen opponents have come and the same number have left disappointed as the Jeeps always managed to get the three (or more) match wins they needed to declare victory. To continue to do so against a sectional rival that stood in the way the past few years is a testament to the collective will and fortitude of the girls.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment for so long now,” said Schroering. “This exact same match has happened for the past four years. Now that we’re here and we finally did it, it’s overwhelming.”

“It made want to keep pushing and playing,” added Rasche.

Fire trucks and ice cream blizzards were in the team’s immediate future as they left they left court after claiming their sectional trophy. They will take the next few days to enjoy this one, but Tina hopes that more serves and volleys are ahead as the team looks forward to the start of regional next Tuesday.

“We’re going to take this in stride,” she said. “I want to go take the regional, it’s been a long time. I’m a tennis player from the 80’s when we were beating Jasper and winning regional. I’d love to see that for these girls.”

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