JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Shelbyville tennis won their second straight match on Monday, edging out Springfield Southeast, 5-4, before dropping a match to Mt. Zion on Tuesday, 8-1.
"This is our second win in a row," said Ram coach Ryan Scott. "The girls are improving. Wow! What a close match in Springfield."
It was gut-check time for the Lady Rams, as the #2, #5, and #6 singles fought their way to victory and gave Shelbyville a chance to win in doubles.
Kayla Lee (#2) won the first set 6-4, but had to go to 8-6 to win the 2nd set. The Rams lost #1, #3, #4 singles and were in danger of being blown out.
Then Taylor Powers (#5) and Julia Bolinger (#6) dropped their first sets, then climbed their way through the next two sets two win going away.
Powers came back from a 4-6 lost in the 1st set to win the 2nd set 6-2, then won a 10-3 3rd set for the win. Bolinger mirrored Powers comeback. She also lost the 1st set 4-6, but came back strong, winning the 2nd set, 6-3, before launching a 10-5 finish in the 3rd set.
Powers and Bolinger gave Shelby the tie 3-3 at the end of singles.
In doubles, Mykennah Allen and her partner Alexis Halbrook, one of the reigning Athletes of the Week, crushed the Southeast #1s, 8-3. Lee and Powers came close, but couldn't repeat their singles magic. They dropped the #2 doubles match by the nlimmest of margins, 10-9.
That left it up to the # doubles team of Courtney Large and Kaitlyn Hopper with th ematch tied 4-4. Large and Hopper were dominant, taking the match 8-3 and giving Shelby their second straight win.
Shelbyville 5, Southeast 4
Singles: #1 Allen (S) lost to Barton (SE), 1-6, 1-6; #2 Lee (S) def. Pierce (SE), 6-4, 8-6; #3 Halbrook (S) lost to Mhaskar (SE), 3-6, 0-6; #4 Rachel West (S) lost to Yathaputama (SE), 2-6, 4-6; #5 Powers (S) def. Steinback (SE), 4-6, 6-2, 10-3; #6 Bolinegr (S) def. Lewis (SE)
Doubles: #1 Allen/Halbrook (S) def. Barton/Mhaskar (SE), 8-3; #2 Lee/Powers (S) lost to Pierce/Yathaputama (SE), 2-6, 4-6; #3 Large/Hopper (S) def. Steinback/Bradshaw (SE), 8-3.
Against Mt. Zion on Tuesday, the only win for Shelby came from their standout doubles team of Allen and Halbrook. They crunched their Mt. Zion opponents, 8-3. Since the pair placed 5th at the Mattoon Invite, they have not lost.
Mt. Zion 8, Shelbyville 1
Singles: #1 Lee (S) lost to Johnston (MZ), 1-6, 4-6; #2 Allen (S) lost to Lebo (MZ), 0-6, 0-6; #3 West (S) lost to Gissler (MZ) 0-6, 0-6; #4 Halbrook (S) lost to Jones (MZ), 1-6, 1-6; #5 Bolinger (S) lost to Stoecker (MZ), 2-6, 0-6; #6 Powers (S) lost to Hinch (MZ), 0-6, 2-6.
Doubles: #1 Allen/Halbrook (S) def. Gissler/Jones (MZ) 8-3; #2 Lee/Powers (S) lost to Stoecker/Johnston (MZ), 1-8; #3 Large/Hopper (S) lost to Kretsinger/Moore (MZ), 4-8.