Jackson tennis team nets third straight district crown
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Jackson seniors Jenny Powell and Montana Adams have been able to experience the Missouri high school state tennis tournament the past two years in doubles play.
They still hope to make a third doubles trip this year, but they would like more company for their annual journey to the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield, Mo.
That door remained open at the Class 2 District 1 tournament at the Southeast Missouri State tennis courts Tuesday, when the Indians kept their squad and near-perfect season alive with their third consecutive district title.
Jackson posted its 12th and 13th shutouts of the season with 5-0 victories over both Central in the semifinals and Oakville in the championship.
"I think it would be cool to just go as a team, because we'd be able to experience it all together since nobody else has been able to go," said Adams, who cruised to victory in both her No. 3 singles matches and her one doubles match with Powell.
The third consecutive title was being savored a little more than the previous two by Powell, one of four seniors on the team.
"Just because all we've worked for leads up to this year," Powell said. "We've never got past sectional [the last two years], and it would be a good goal this year."
The Indians did not drop a set in the six singles matches against Central, and Adams and Powell made such quick work of their doubles match, a 6-0, 6-0 victory against the Tigers' Faith Tegel and Ashley Westbrook, they clinched the team victory while play was still going on in two of the singles matches.
Powell improved to 17-2 in No. 1 singles, while Adams upped her mark to 20-1 in No. 3 singles. They improved to 21-3 in doubles with the win against Tegel-Westbrook,
But the Indians' talent goes well beyond that pair.
Jackson returned its top six players from last year's team that went 14-5 in duals.
This year's squad has avenged 2011 losses against Nerinx Hall, Parkway West and Parkway Central in compiling a 17-1 record in duals.
"A bunch of teams that we haven't beat before, we're able to compete with and pull out in close matches," Powell said.
The district title was the fifth in the history of Jackson girls tennis, but none have led to the final four.
"I think it would be a bigger accomplishment [than doubles] just because it shows not just how good two players are but as Jackson High School, how much we've improved as a team, and how hard the players and coaches have worked to get there," Powell said about the possible scenario of going to the final four as a team. "I think Jackson isn't really known as a tennis school. And a lot of people don't think tennis ever could go to state, so I think it would be good for the school as whole, [and] tennis."
Powell and Adams started on the varsity as freshmen, and Jackie McNally and Katelyn Kuppart joined the lineup as sophomores to help launch the three-year district run. McNally improved to 18-3 at No. 2 singles with her two district victories, while Kuppart upped her record to 18-1 at No. 4 singles.
Juniors Lucy Kunz and Laina Marble are second-year starters and swept both their matches at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, respectively, on Tuesday. Kunz is 18-3 in singles, while Marble is 17-2.
"Every spot has come through," said Jackson coach Linda Adams, who is in her 18th and final season. "I would have to say it's one of my strongest [teams]."
McNally clinched the district crown Tuesday with her 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 victory over Oakville's Carly Lanfersieck.
"It was nice to do it for our coach," McNally said. "It's her last year."
Adams has led the Indians to all five of their district crowns, the first two coming in 2001, and 2002.
"My daughter is a senior, and I can retire," Adams said. "We're going to graduate together."
Jackson advances to play Class 2 sectional champion Lafayette on Oct. 13. The Lancers ended the Indians' season in the sectional round last year.
"It's a tough road ahead, but you know, we just got to go up there and play," coach Adams said. "No matter who you're playing, you've got play the game that got you this far."
The individual Class 2 District 1 competition will be Thursday, also at the Southeast courts.
Jackson 5, Central 0
No. 1 -- Jenny Powell (J) def. Faith Tegel 6-0, 6-1
No. 2 -- Jackie McNally (J) def. Caroline Retter 6-1, 7-6 (7-3)
No. 3 -- Montana Adams (J) def. Josey Powell 6-1, 6-3
No. 4 -- Katelyn Kuppart (J) def. Ashley Westbrook 6-1, 6-0
No. 5 -- Lucy Kunz (J) def. Sydney Messerli 6-3, 6-1
No. 6 -- Laina Marble (J) def. Courtney Limbaugh 6-1, 6-1
No. 1 -- Powell-Adams (J) def. Tegel-Westbrook 6-0, 6-0
Jackson 5, Oakville 0
No. 1 -- Powell (J) def. Emily Bartz-Mills 6-0, 6-0
No. 2 -- McNally (J) def. Carly Lanfersieck 7-5, 2-6, 6-3
No. 3 -- Adams (J) def. Theresa Bergman 6-0, 6-0
No. 4 -- Kuppart (J) def. Jamie Vergano 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
No. 5 -- Kunz (J) def. Ashlyn Ball 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
No. 6 -- Marble (J) def. Kate Giles 7-6 (7-3), 6-4