CARBONDALE — Sporting a new senior laden lineup on Senior Night, the Carbondale girls tennis team beat Herrin 7-2 in a non-conference match Monday.
“For Senior Night I played my five seniors in positions 1-2-3-4-5 and it was new positions for every one of them,” said Carbondale coach Mike Butler. “Longmei Ge was absolutely exceptional at No. 1 and Harp (Jessie Harper) was steady as can be. I love my other two senior captains Emily Fulk and Emma Shick against Herrin’s 3 and 4, who are drastically improved from the first time we played them. I feel bad for Audrey Kinsel who lost a hard-fought three set match. In my opinion, my new pairing at No. 1 doubles staked their claim to a top seed.”
Carbondale was coming off its first conference title after six straight second place finishes on Saturday, with a sectional hosted by Herrin up next on Friday.
“Thrilled to win the conference,” Butler said. “After six second place finishes it was time to finish what we started as a program. For Skylar Moore to repeat as MVP made it an absolutely fantastic weekend.”
Ge (14-5) moved up from No. 2 singles to play No. 1 and won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0, over senior Presli Karnes.
“It was Senior Night so all of five seniors were playing because this was our last home match and our last match of the regular season,” Ge said. “I was playing against Herrin’s No. 1, so I was definitely a little bit nervous.”
People are also reading…
Ge got off to a slow start losing the first game and following behind 30-0 in the second game before finding her bearings to win the next three games. After Karnes evened the first set 3-3, Ge went on a roll winning the last three games of the first set and all six in the second.
“There was a lot of nerves compounded with the emotion of Senior Night because it finally set in this was the end of my senior season and I am so sad of leaving everyone and that made me tight in the beginning,” Ge said. “I started to get used to her shot making and was able to move through the balls and got my rhythm.”
Harper (6-0) remained undefeated on the season with a 6-2, 6-2, win over sophomore Jersey Summers at No. 2 singles.
Fulk beat freshman Keirsten Killman at No. 3 in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, and Shick beat junior Dylan Felty, 7-5, 6-3, at No. 4.
Kinsel lost to junior Gwen Weldon, 5-7, 7-6, (10-7), and junior Aja Banks gave the Terriers a 5-1 lead with a 6-0, 6-1, win over freshman Branson Hill.
In doubles, the Terriers won at No. 1 when the team of Harper and freshman Eislee Moore remained undefeated to up its record to 2-0.
“Butler put us back together after I came back from shoulder surgery,” Harper said. “I think we play so good together is the fact I’m right-handed and she’s left-handed, so if I hit it wide she’s good finishing up.”
The Harper/Moore duo won the first games in the first set and did the same in the second to win the match, 6-1, 6-1.
“This season I played singles until a few weeks ago, so having a partner like Jessie works out well because she places balls in great areas to win us points,” Moore said.
Sophomore Lauren Mueller and junior Josie Hall won at No. 3, 6-4, 7-5, over Killman and junior Julia Barlow.
No. 2 doubles started later than the rest of the doubles and only played an 8-Point Pro Set. The team of sophomore Daphne Johnson and junior Julia Oberg beat the team of Felty and Weldon, 8-4.