HARRISONBURG — The rematch started the same but ended slightly differently – and with a different team winning.
Eastern Mennonite High School and Virginia Episcopal School split six singles matches just as they had in their regular-season meeting, but this time it was VES that took two out of three doubles matches to win the Blue Ridge Conference girls’ tennis championship Saturday at Eastern Mennonite University.
The Flames (10-3) had won all seven matches against BRC opponents coming into the league tournament championship, including a 5-4 win over VES in the regular season. They were trying to win their first BRC title in “six or seven years,” according to coach Jesse Blosser.
“We expected it to be close,” Blosser said. “Just, this time, they came out on top.”
The clinching match came at No. 3 doubles, with EMHS juniors Carolina May and Mary Zook falling 8-6 in a tightly contested match.
EMHS’s lone senior, Hannah Shultz, fought back from down 1-6 to an 8-all tie at No. 2 singles before winning the tiebreaker 7-3, keeping her team’s hopes alive.
“Going into it, my motto was play your best tennis, and then whether you win or lose, you’ll feel good about the way you played,” Blosser said. “I felt like they did that. They fought hard, they played their hardest.”
May and eighth-grader Gabriella Forward also won singles matches for EMHS, and junior Samantha Jacob teamed with Forward for the Flames’ lone doubles win.
SINGLES: 1. Janvier (VES) d. Rebecca Morra 8-3; 2. Hannah Shultz (EM) d. Pierce 9-8 (7-3); 3. Carolina May (EM) d. Herring 8-1; 4. Rentz (VES) d. Mary Zook 8-2; 5. Naumann (VES) d. Samantha Jacob 8-1; 6. Gabriella Forward (EM) d. DuBose 8-4
DOUBLES: 1. Janvier/Pierce (VES) d. Morra/Shultz 8-2; 2. Jacob/Forward (EM) d. Herring/Rentz 8-4; 3. Naumann/DuBose (VES) d. May/Zook 8-6