KOKOMO — Deep in the first set at four positions during the Logansport girls tennis team’s Kokomo Regional semifinal against Eastern, the Comets were still in the thick of the match despite a slow start and an even deeper hole in the No. 1 singles match.
Eventually though, Logansport’s players asserted control and the Berries emerged with a 4-1 victory Tuesday.
Logan’s Whitney Jennings started the ball rolling the Berries’ way with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Courtney Clark. Brooke Bullard won the No. 2 singles point 6-3, 6-0 over Riley Kanable. Almost simultaneously, Eastern’s Claire Holkenbrink recorded the Comets’ lone victory, a 7-5, 6-0 decision over Abby Geer at No. 3 singles. With those results, the Berries held a 2-1 edge which put further pressure on Eastern’s two doubles teams to keep the Comets alive.
When the Logan No. 2 doubles team of Kayleigh Dance and Rachel Sims wrapped up a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Marissa Evenson and Laura White, Logan clinched the match. Finally, Karli Armstrong and Christine Shepler finished a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Marie Holkenbrink and Megan Dean for the final point.
“I thought every position, even the point we lost, played their best,” Logan coach Kelly Bullard said, noting No. 3 singles player Geer played despite illness and a fever. “She played her best considering she was sick. Everyone else played some of the best tennis I’ve seen them play all year. We don’t play Eastern in the regular season so of course we were a little nervous, but I thought we matched up well against them and played well at every spot.”
The Berries (15-5) live on to face state superpower Carmel, which beat Harrison 5-0.
Bullard said the Berries seemed “really determined. I thought more determination I’d seen maybe all year to really win and get further in this regional than we ever have. Since I’ve been coaching, we’ve always got beat in the first round. To be honest, they’ve always wanted to play the big dogs and see how we can do against somebody like Carmel. Obviously, the expectations are not real high, but just have fun, play your best tennis and try to get better.