By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Even in defeat, even facing an overwhelming opponent in defending sectional champion Bloomington North, Bedford North Lawrence coach Joni Stigall found reason for future optimism.
After searching for the right doubles combination, she found one. After looking for the right player in the third singles slot, Stigall settled on an answer after shifting her lineup.
So all was not lost as North cruised to a 5-0 victory on Monday afternoon. The Stars (0-3) won a set, played competitively on multiple courts, and gave Stigall a chance to smile.
BNL’s best match came at No.1 doubles as the new combination of Abby Riley and Abbey Bridges pushed the Cougars before Izzy Flynn and Siggy Force prevailed 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.
“That is a positive,” Stigall said. “I can remember a couple of years ago we didn’t ever win games against them. So I see improvement. Abby and Abbey played well together, so we will probably see that for a while. I think that’s a find.”
North’s Joy Bhattacharya bounced Kiara Terry 6-1, 6-1 at No.1 singles, while Katy Rusche stopped Presley Clark 6-3, 6-2 at No.2. Christine Zhou downed Angelica Godsey (an emergency starter when Sarah Gaither fell ill) 6-1, 6-0 at No.3.
“Presley played fantastic,” Stigall said. “I couldn’t be happier with the way she played. She dropped some games with errors she can fix. I saw her hit shots she has never hit before, so there’s nothing I want her to change.
“It’s hard to realize how much we’re improving, but I think we’ll see a difference in the matches to come.”
North finished the sweep as Jase Vasquez and Madison Alfonso toppled the new tandem of Molly Simmerman and freshman Rachel Kidd 6-0, 6-0 at No.2 doubles.
BNL will visit Bloomington South on Tuesday.
Bloomington North 5, BNL 0
1 Joy Bhattacharya d. Kiara Terry 6-1, 6-1
2 Katy Rusche d. Presley Clark 6-3, 6-2
3 Christine Zhou d. Angelica Godsey 6-1, 6-0
1 Izzy Flynn and Siggy Force d. Abby Riley and Abbey Bridges 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
2 Jade Vasquez and Madison Alfonso d. Molly Simmerman and Rachel Kidd 6-0, 6-0