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Central pair reaches consolation semis
Ford and Pingel rebounded with two wins after a tough loss Friday.
By Bill Hester
Special to the Southeast Missourian
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Central senior Lindsey Pingel had the word of the day, especially in the blustery conditions, in describing her day at the Missouri Class 2 tennis tournament Friday.
"It was a whirlwind," Pingel said.
It was certainly windy at the Cooper Tennis Complex. And Pingel and her doubles partner, Sarah Ford, experienced the lowest of lows and highest of the highs on the long day.
The low came right away as the Tigers missed out on three match points in a first-round loss to Katie Jackson and Joellen Redlingshafer of St. Teresa's Academy.
The Tiger duo won the first set 6-4 and had a 6-3 lead in the second set tie-breaker. They could not finish it out as St. Teresa's scored the final five points of the set and then won the first four games of the third set. Central got it back to 5-4 but lost the match 4-6, 7-6, 6-4.
"It was a match we definitely felt that we could wn," Pingel said.
The Central pair had to come back just an hour later, but they showed what they were made of with another three-set match. This time it was a win, and a win over a team from Class 2 team champion St. Joseph's Academy, no less.
Pingel and Ford again got off to a quick start, winning the first set 6-1. They were up 4-1 in the second set but once again made things interesting. St. Joe's Madeline Jolly and Nancy Mueller came back to win the set. The third set went back and forth, but Central prevailed after Pingel hit a winner down the middle.
The Tigers parents, fans, coaches and players celebrated the victory.
"It was like they won Wimbledon," Lindsey's father, Dale, said.
It was the first win in three appearances at the state tournament for Ford and Pingel.
"That was very big for us," Ford said. "We were frustrated after the first match, and I think we just took our anger out on our next opponents."
The Tigers got to finish their long day in the stadium court at the Cooper Tennis Complex where they defeated Gina Cielo and Brooke Stanke of Lee's Summit West, 6-4, 6-0.
The two wins extended the stay of Ford and Pingel and the career of coach Annette Slattery for another day.
The Tigers duo will face a familiar foe today at 9 a.m.
They will be looking for their first victory in three matches when they meet Pam Ganer and Leslie Ganer of Nerinx Hall in the consolation semifinals. Ford and Pingel took the twins to three sets last weekend.
A win in that match would result in medals for Ford and Pingel.