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Maconaquah finishes TRC play with victory over Wabash

DOWNED: Maconaquah senior Makenna Moore maderelativelyquick work of Wabash’s Brooke Irgang at No. 2 singles during Monday night’s TRC girls’ tennis finale, earning a 6-2, 6-4 victory. The Braves picked up a 3-2 win heading into sectional play Thursday, where the team will face the winner of Manchester and Peru.

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

BUNKER HILL – While teams had one eye on the sectional draw that was occurring later in the evening, Wabash and Maconaquah were keeping the other eye fixed on one another with another meeting potentially days away.

The two squads ended up on opposite side of the Peru girls’ tennis sectional bracket later in the week but for Monday, it was the Braves who claimed a win in the final TRC match of the season over the Apaches 3-2.

The match got off to a strong start for Wabash as Isabel France and Alicyn Sheets made quick work of Brooke Borden and Cindy Cornelius, winning the match at No. 1 doubles 6-1, 6-2. Maconaquah was on the board next as Makenna Moore defeated Brooke Irgang 6-2, 6-4 at No. 2 singles, leveling the match at 1-1.

Braves head coach Breanna Manriquez said Moore had a strong outing while the doubles team had several issues crop up in their match.

“Makenna did very well today,” Manriquez said. “Her playing style was very effective even though she felt like she struggled in the second set but finished strong.

“Cindy and Brooke struggled a bit today, though both said their opponents were pretty good. One of them had a very nice serve and they struggled to adjust to it.”

A tough match at No. 2 doubles eventually went the way of the hosts as Anna Borden and Trysta Gustafson edged out Camille Kugler and Halle Miller in two sets, winning 7-5, 6-4 to give the Braves a 2-1 lead.

Manriquez was pleased with the way the pair handled two close sets.

“Trysta and Anna had a very nice match,” Manriquez said. “I was proud of those two.

“Anna’s net play was phenomenal today and it’s been very fun to see the growth of those two players from the beginning of the year. I’m interested to see how they do in sectionals.”

It took some time before the match was settled, however, as the remaining singles matches needed three sets to determine a winner.

Betsy Powell had a strong start to the match at No. 1 singles for Maconaquah, taking the first set off of Wabash’s Alexis Hartley 6-3.

The same was true in the second set for Hartley, who eased through the set 6-3, setting up a third set between the seniors.

A back-and-forth third set eventually went the way of the Braves as Powell pulled out the third set 6-4, securing the match for the hosts.

“We’re trying to reel Betsy back in,” Manriquez said about the No. 1 singles player after some tough matches. “She lost her way in the second set but found herself in the third set.

“She was getting her first serve in and her shots over the net, which made the difference late.”

The same story developed in reverse at No. 3 singles as Bella Carrillo took a 6-3 win in the first set for the Apaches over Alice Miller, only to drop the second set 6-3. Another hotly-contested third set went the way of the Wabash sophomore, who won the decider 6-4.

Manriquez said the junior played better with more positive thinking.

“Alice came back very well in the second set,” Manriquez pointed out. “It was a struggle for her in the first set but she was focused more on what she needed to do rather than dwell on mistakes.

“She got into her own head in the first set but relaxed in the second set and played very competitively in the third set.”

The sectional draw saw Maconaquah receive a bye into the semifinals where the team will play the winner of the quarterfinal match between Northfield and Southwood.

A look at some basic concepts was on the docket according to Manriquez as the team prepares to face a pair of opponents they have defeated once already this season.

“We’re really going to work on shots the next two days,” Manriquez said. “We want to look at the basics of groundstrokes as we’re seeing a lot of shots in the net that shouldn’t have been in the net.

“We also want to look at movement and communication with our doubles teams, which was a bit of an issue tonight.”

Manriquez

At Maconaquah

Maconaquah 3, Wabash 2

No. 1 Singles — Powell (M) def. Hartley (W) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4

No. 2 Singles — Moore (M) def. Irgang (W) 6-2, 6-4

No. 3 Singles — Carrillo (W) def. Miller (M) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

No. 1 Doubles — France/Sheets (W) def. B. Borden/Cornelius (M) 6-1, 6-2

No. 2 Doubles — A. Borden/Gustafson (M) def. Kugler/Miller (W) 7-5, 6-4