JAMESTOWN — Not even a match against the best girls tennis team in the Ohio Heritage Conference could spoil Senior Night for the Greeneview Rams, on Thursday at Seaman Park.
Sure, the talented bunch from Springfield Northeastern claimed a 5-0 win. And yeah, most of the matches were determined in relatively short order. But Greeneview’s four seniors — singles players Lesli Freetage and Kay Crum and doubles players Brooke Grizzle and Lauren Carroll — played hard in their respective matches.
“It’s been a good season for my seniors. They’ve tried very hard and I know they’ve succeeded at reaching some of their goals this season,” Rams coach Jami Sears said. “I hate to take the light off of them, but I have three returning sophomores that I’m really looking forward to working with. I think they’ve grown a lot this season, and I’m sure they’ll be good in the future.”
Sears started sophomore Ellie Adkins at first singles. Adkins bowed out to the Jets Kaleigh Cummins and her rocket serve in straight sets 6-0, 6-0. Cummins is the top seed in the upcoming Division II Troy Sectional, and showed why on Thursday.
Freetage played second singles and lost 6-1, 6-2 to Northeastern’s Lindsey Whitley, and fellow Rams senior Crum fell 6-0, 6-0 at third singles to Alaina Owens.
The Rams’ Grizzle-Carroll senior duo bowed out in straight sets 6-0, 6-2 to Northeastern’s Emma Howard and Darienne James, but Sears’ super sophomore tandem of Molly Nixon and Katy Hilbig played the best match of the evening before falling 7-6 (8-6 in the tiebreaker), 6-4 to the Jets Aerin Steinberger and Lucy Parker.
Nixon and Hilbig had held a 6-4 lead in the first-set tiebreaker and needed one more point to claim the opening set, but their Northeastern counterparts claimed the next four consecutive points to win.
“I think losing that tiebreaker made them a little nervous,” Sears said. “But they played a really solid match. We’ll build off of this for the future, I’m sure.”
With the win, Northeastern recorded its best regular season record in school history at 15 wins and one loss. Jets coach Jane Warren said Thursday’s win was special for her five seniors. To commemorate the school record, the team posed for pictures afterwards. The players wanted to carry coach Warren for one photo, but the diminutive veteran coach relented.
“You guys have sectionals next week, I don’t want anyone getting hurt,” she said with a smile.
Greeneview ends its regular season with a 4-12 overall record. The players will now prepare for the Division II Dayton sectional tennis tournament which takes place beginning at 9 a.m. both Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at Centerville High School.
Northeastern will compete in the D-II Troy Sectional which will take place with opening round matches on Sept. 29, then semifinals and finals Oct. 3 at Troy High School.