EFFINGHAM – Senior Lauren Wasmuth was the only Lady Vandal to win a match at the tennis sectional tournament last Friday afternoon in Effingham.
Facing an alternate from Salem, Wasmuth took her first-round match, 6-3, 6-3, before running into the tournament’s No. 3 player, to whom Wasmuth lost, 0-6, 0-6.
That score, however, was very deceiving.
“I thought Lauren really did a good job,” said coach Kevin Schroeder. “She moved the ball around on the girl from Salem to keep her off-balance, and then against the T-Town girl, who is a very good player, watching the match, you wouldn’t think it would be, 0-6, 0-6.”
Wasmuth had several well-placed returns, but Allison Vogt was able to return many of them. Other shots from Wasmuth sailed out of bounds due to strong winds that hindered players.
As the team’s top player, Wasmuth had battled through some tough matches while also fighting illness at the beginning of the season, but once she got healed up, the wins started piling up. She finished the season with four wins in singles and one in doubles.
Seniors Abby Hickerson and Callie George received a first-round bye in doubles, but they were unable to capitalize against Megan Miller and Morgan Drees from Teutopolis, losing, 3-6, 0-6.
The Lady Vandal duo had been close throughout the first set, but once they lost control of the match, they were unable to get it back.
“For some reason, at sectionals, when you lose the first set, it makes it tougher to stay with them in the second set,” Schroeder said.
The pair finished the season with nine doubles wins.
Senior Chelsey Stewart and sophomore Karlee Brimberry also played a close doubles match, falling to a strong team from Effingham, 4-6, 2-6.
“They thought they did a decent job,” Schroeder said. “They knew that was a tougher team, and they were tied at points in the first set.”
Senior Erika Blackwell also played at the sectional, losing, 0-6, 1-6, in singles.
The sectional closed the season for the Lady Vandals, and they finished with five wins – equal to the total from 2010.
“They went and battled the conditions, but I am proud of their effort and the season they had,” Schroeder said. “The (seven) seniors showed a lot of leadership this season, and I really appreciated their work ethic, and how they came to practice every day wanting to improve.”
Brimberry, who has a good chance to be Vandalia’s No. 1 player next season, will be joined by a group of promising juniors on next season’s team.
Several of them – including Paige Ehrat, Bailey Jones, Emilie Britt and Jordan Boren – played in and had success in some varsity doubles matches this season.
“I feel comfortable that the people that will step in will compete next year,” Schroeder said. “They gave me a positive outlook.”
Friday, Oct. 14
at Effingham Sectional
•Won in first round, 6-3, 6-3
•Lost in second round, 0-6, 0-6
•Lost in first round, 0-6, 1-6
•Lost in second round, 3-6, 0-6
•Lost in first round, 4-6, 2-6
Tuesday, Oct. 11
•No. 1 Wasmuth lost, 2-10
•No. 2 Stewart lost, 3-10
•No. 3 George lost, 0-10
•No. 4 Hickerson, 0-10
•No. 5 Brimberry lost, 1-10
•No. 6 Blackwell lost, 0-10
•No. 1 Wasmuth/Brimberry lost, 1-10
•No. 2 George/Hickerson lost, 0-10
•No. 3 Brittony Cook/Kayla Murray lost, 0-10
•No. 1 Ehrat/Jones lost, 2-6
•No. 2 Britt/Boren lost, 3-6
•No. 3 Megan Dothager/Kristyn Nichols lost, 0-6
•No. 4 Kendall Leander/Alexandria Schroeder lost, 0-6
•No. 5 Courtney Ulmer/Nicole Wells lost, 0-6
•No. 6 Dothager/Nichols lost, 2-6