JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Shelbyville tennis (2-13) has been swimming upstream all season and they took two more losses this week. Shelby lost to Springfield Lanphier, 5-4, then to Vandalia, 9-0.
“How does the quote go?,” said Ram coach Bruce Manola. “‘It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.’ The 2012 team has had its share of hard times this year. With three matches to go of 19, the team has had five, 5 to 4 decisions, winning just one of those matches.
Ram #1 Mallory Jefson got a win on Monday, 10-6. Mykennah Allen (#2) fought for a tie-break win, 10-10 (T.B. 11-9).
“Mykennah Allen played a great match,” Coach Manola said. “She came from behind to tie the match up and winning the tie-break. She showed a lot of grit and focus to claim the victory.”
However, Lanphier won the other four singles matches. Two of those matches could have gone Shelbyville’s way. Kayla Lee (#3) and Kaitlin Hopper (#6) both lost just 8-10.
Trailing 4-2 heading into doubles, the Rams lost #1 doubles and had to take the loss, despite winning the other two doubles matches.
Allen and Alexis Halbrook won their #2 doubles match, 10-2. Courtney Large and Laura Flach won the #3 doubles match, 10-6.
“With 15 members this year and 12 being first-year or exhibition, the bulk has had to be carried by the only three experienced players,” Coach Manola said. “But, the pain and tears of this year should turn into more smiles next year, because all the girls have played hard and have not given up.”
Lanphier def. Shelbyville, 5-4
Singles: #1 Jefson (S) def. K. Fitzgerald (L), 10-6: #2 Allen (S) def. Cox (L), 10-10 (TB 11-9); #3 Lee (S) lost to Liogas (L), 8-10; #4 Halbrook (S) lost to A. Fitzgerald (L), 6-10; #5 Rachel West (S) lost to Cole (L), 4-10; #6 Hopper (S) lost to Hull (L), 8-10
Doubles: #1 Jefson/Lee (S) lost to Cox/A. Fitzgerald (L), 6-10; #2 Allen/Halbrook (S) def. Liogas/Cole (L), 10-2; #3 Large/Flach (S) won, 10-6
In addition to the five 5-4 decisions, the Rams have suffered several 9-0 blowouts. On Tuesday, the Rams were skunked again, this time by Vandalia, 9-0.
Hopper (#6) lost a close match, 9-11 and the Rams lost two close doubles matches. Halbrook and West lost #1 doubles, 6-8. Lee and Hopper lost #3 doubles, 6-8.
Vandalia def. Shelbyville 9-0
Singles: #1 Jefson (S) lost to Blythe (V) 0-10; #2 Lee (S) lost to Jones (V), 3-10; #3 Halbrook (S) lost to Ehrat (V), 2-10; #4 West (S) lost to Britt (V) 1-10; #5 Julia Bolinger (S) lost to Boren (V), 1-10; #6 Hopper (S) lost to Whightsil (V) 9-11
Doubles: #1 Halbrook/West (S) lost Blythe/Brimberry (V), 6-8; #2 Flach/Large (S) lost to Ehrat/Jones (V), 2-8; #3 Lee/Hopper (S) lost to Britt/Boren (V), 6-8.