A 30-minute trip to Mascoutah, the foe of the Mississippi Valley Conference, on Tuesday, September 28, proved to be a fun day and night for the Highland women’s tennis team.
Highland stumbled in the No.1 singles match, but went through the singles and doubles thereafter and passed the Indians 8-1.
The long game and the trip were very helpful for HHS coach Matt Pellock and the Lady Bulldogs.
“Today was a good day for us and it helped us get a better idea of what we can do in the conference since we hadn’t played a lot of conference (matches) like Mascoutah had done”, Pellock said.
Highland improved to 6-3 in doubles matches and rose to 1-2 in the league.
HHS did very well in singles steals with five match wins, including Katie Augustin, who won her match 6-4, 6-2 at No.2 in singles.
“She was down in her first set and came back and won,” said Pellock. “Singles was something she struggled a bit at, so it was good that she was able to come back in the first set and play consistently in the second (set).”
Addison Crask won her match with ease in the No. 3 Singles 6-0, 6-3, while Sophia Fleming won the No. 4 Singles Steal 6-2, 6-3. Allie Rinderer lost her first set 4-6, then won 6-5, then won a super tiebreaker 10-8 to win her singles match No.5.
“It was definitely a battle,” Pellock said of Rinderer’s game. “They had a lot of long points in that one because she and Mascoutah’s No.5 player were just rallying around trying to find a mistake on the other girl.”
Nicole Bluhm closed the singles for the Lady Bulldogs with a 6-2, 6-4 victory at No.6. Lauren Herman suffered Highland’s only loss in the singles, losing a fierce decision to 5-7, 2-6 at n ° 6. 1.
The good performance in singles was a pleasant surprise for Pellock.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect because Mascoutah has had decent results in his conference (games) so far and we’ve only played Triad and Waterloo. So this one is definitely going to be the one where you maybe get a feel for what the next conference games might look like, so that was a good sign, ”said Pellock.
In doubles, Highland was just as strong as Augustin and Herman led the charge at No.1 with a straight set victory 4-6, 7-6, 10-8.
“It was a lot of extra tennis in that one and we played aggressively when we needed it and took good shots when we needed it and forced a few mistakes when we needed it at the end. C ‘is kind of what it (the game) boils down to, “Pellock said.
Crask and Fleming won the No. 2 doubles match 7-6, 6-3 and Rinderer and Maya Pollard completed the sweep with a 6-2, 6-3 victory in the No. 3 doubles.
“Getting all three doubles wins will hopefully help our places next week when we determine the seeds (for the conference tournament),” said Pellock.
What’s next for Highland?
Highland returns to action at 4 p.m. Thursday, September 30 at the Civic Memorial in a championship game.
The Lady Bulldogs will end the conference game with a Senior Night home game against Jerseyville on Monday October 4, followed by a home game with Granite City on Wednesday October 5.
Highland will then take part in the MVC tournament on Friday October 8 and Saturday October 9.
Pellock believes the Lady Bulldogs are on their way to winning the league tournament.
“I think Lauren and Katie have a doubles victory, that was important because the 1-2 places in the competition didn’t have a lot of wins up there. It was really important for their confidence and if they have some confidence I hope it will trickle down to the rest of our squad, ”said Pellock.
This story was originally published September 29, 2021 11:36 a.m.