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Apaches close regular season with victory

BY Trent Scott - sports@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.

Wabash head coach Junior Carrillo said the team had issues with the windy conditions but played the hosts well in several spots.

“It was a tough night, a windy night,” Carrillo said. “We had a windy night at Northfield where the girls struggled to adjust and a little bit of that has carried over into tonight.

“(Maconaquah) is a good opponent and we were closely matched throughout. Our No. 1 and 3 singles were close matches and our No. 2 doubles were closer tonight.”

Without knowing the sectional draw prior to the beginning of the match, Carrillo said the girls were looking for little things that might give them an edge later in the week.

“Our older girls take the cues from each match,” Carrillo noted. “They’ll notice what a girl is doing in a match and we hope that the younger girls catch on to tendencies like the older girls do.”

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.

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.

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.

Carrillo was pleased with the way the senior bounced back after a tough opening set.

“Lexi did a good job coming back after the first set,” Carrillo said. “She played better in the second set and was very close in the third.”

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.

The sectional draw saw Wabash receive a bye into the semifinals where the team will face the winner of the quarterfinal match between Manchester and Peru.

Carrillo said the girls were amped for sectional play to begin but would have to wait just a little longer to find out who they would face Thursday.

“The varsity girls are ready to go,” Carrillo said. “Our JV girls are looking to see if they can go and watch.

“They’ve been thinking about the sectional today and, even while leaving school, were asking who we would get, but they’ll have to wait an extra day to see who they’ll play.”