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GIRLS TENNIS: Stars settle for 6th in HHC

BNLs Nikola Malkova won at No.2 singles, but the Stars dropped a 4-1 decision to Jeffersonville in the consolation round of the HHC Tournament.

BNL’s Nikola Malkova won at No.2 singles, but the Stars dropped a 4-1 decision to Jeffersonville in the consolation round of the HHC Tournament.

Jeffersonville sweeps doubles

en route to 4-1 win over BNL

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

If only the facial expressions and sighs of Bedford North Lawrence coach Joni Stigall could be framed by a text emoji. That would be quite a picture.

Stigall could only grin and roll her eyes as the Stars dropped a 4-1 decision to Jeffersonville in the rain-delayed consolation round of the Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament on Monday afternoon.

BNL (2-11) settled for sixth place in the league, a far better conclusion than the overall record indicates.

“That’s better than what I thought,” Stigall said as a season of youth, inexperience and injuries nears its finish. “When you’re 2-11, that’s better than what we should be. So I’ll take it.”

Now that doesn’t mean Stigall found any satisfaction in BNL’s performance. The Red Devils swept the doubles, losing only four games on the two courts, and BNL’s only win was posted by Nikola Malkova at No.2 singles.

Malkova, a Czech Republic exchange student with a superb first serve. is known for her long rallies and marathon matches. And another one of those was taking shape again. But with the team outcome already decided, the third set was reduced to a super tiebreaker as Malkova clipped Katie Gernand 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 10-1.

“Thankfully that was under three hours,” Stigall said.

Part of the Malkova strategy is toning down her ground strokes, resisting the temptation to rip forehands. That caution leads the longer points, but it was worked of late as she recorded her second straight win.

“Keeping the ball in play, that’s our pep talk before every match,” Stigall said. “That’s kind of the discussion, do whatever it takes to win the match. She’s evidently doing that.”

Jeffersonville wasn’t pressed on the other courts. Haley Asplund conquered Hope Martin 6-3, 6-3 at No.1 singles while Cameron Kearny downed McKenzie Messmore 6-1, 6-2 at No.3.

The Devils dominated doubles as Libby West and McKenna Woodard rolled over Jaclyn Dufrense and Ali Adams 6-0, 6-1 at No.1. Gabby Alder and Ally Ward cruised past Jenna Williams and Emily Chastain 6-0, 6-3 at No.2.

“I’m disappointed,” Stigall said. “I think Jeff is a good team, I don’t want to take that away from them. But we did not show up to play on most of our courts. I’m OK to lose, but I want to lose because we got beat.”

The Stars are scheduled to complete the regular season at Martinsville on Tuesday. They will then face either Bloomington North or Bloomington South in the semifinal round of the IHSAA sectional at North on Thursday.

 

“It’s tough, any time you’re going in to play North or South,” Stigall said. “We’re going to go in there ready to play.”

JEFFERSONVILLE 4, BNL 1

Singles: 1. Haley Asplund, J d. Hope Martin 6-3, 6-3; 2. Nikola Malkova, BNL d. Katie Gernand 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 10-1; 3. Cameron Kearny, J d. McKenzie Messmore 6-1, 6-2

Doubles: 1. Libby West and McKenna Woodard, J d. Jaclyn Dufresne and Ali Adams 6-0, 6-1; 2. Gabby Alder and Ally Ward, J d. Jenna Williams and Emily Chastain 6-0, 6-3