Center Grove tennis reaches regional final

It might not have been picture perfect, but for Center Grove girls tennis coach Debby Burton the end result was just fine.

The No. 8 Trojans shut out Southport 5-0 Tuesday in the regional semifinals at Center Grove High School.

“We played well even in the two matches that we were on the court pretty long. They were good mental wins,” Burton said. “We played with a lot of grit. We had some up and downs in a week that is a challenging week with the last week of school and finals. We did what we needed to do. It’s not how fast you get the win, it’s the fact that you get that win.”

The Trojans (15-3) will meet unbeaten Triton Central in today’s championship. The Tigers advanced with a 3-2 victory over Roncalli in the other semifinal.

“They had a great win over Roncalli,” Burton said of the Tigers. “We have to come out ready to play and take care of business. We can only control what we can control and that’s our attitude and our effort.”

Center Grove’s two longest matches were at second and third singles.

Senior Sonya Vyas rallied after losing the first set to down Madison Lukas 4-6, 6-0, 10-3 at No. 2.

“She took care of business,” Burton said of Vyas. “Once she got her rhythm, she was fine. She struggled to find that at the beginning."

At No. 3 singles, freshman Deepthi Shankar downed Baylee Watson 6-3, 7-5.

The Trojans’ No. 2 doubles team of junior Hudson Gilstorf and freshman Lauren Dick won all 12 games against Macey Lukas and Ngun Cer to improve to 21-2.

Gilstorf said the two have developed a strong chemistry.

“Lauren’s groundstroke game pushed the opponents back and I can just take the ball at the net and the point quickly,” she said.

The No. 1 doubles team of seniors Sydney Plowman and Sapna Vyas didn’t drop a game either in beating Annie Sung and Ngun Za Mawi.

“The great thing for our team is we have a lot of depth,” Burton said. “There is not much difference talent-wise between our No. 1 and 2 doubles teams. They’re both pretty solid teams.”

Trojans senior Ashlee Fisk topped Claire Streit 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, but wasn’t thrilled with how she played. After the team match, Fisk had a little more court time to practice.

“We had some tweaks we wanted her working on as we progress in the tournament so we had very specific things, so we were pushing her outside of her comfort box,” Burton said. “She’s out there working.”

Winners for Roncalli in the other semifinal were Lili Wisler, No. 2 singles and Elsie Kerr and Katrina Gangstad at No. 2 doubles. The Royals finished 16-6.

In the sectional individual doubles competition, Franklin’s team of Cheslie Rayl and Haylie Rayl eliminated Waldron’s duo of Mackenzie Shaw and Megan Bogeman 6-2, 6-3 to advance to a meeting with Franklin Central’s Carly Sobieralski and Devin Cooney. Franklin Central defeated Greenwood’s Sophia Davidson and Brooklyn Hanson 7-6 (7-5), 7-5.

Davidson and Hanson finished 5-4. With injuries to both ankles, Davidson moved from No. 1 singles to No. 1 doubles during the season to allow her to recover.

“It’s been fun to watch (the team develop),” Greenwood coach Jeremy Runge said. "I think toward the end of the year they started to click; everything fell into place.”