Carmel High School senior Lauren Lemonds saw her dreams of winning a second consecutive state singles title fade away with a three-set loss to Providence’s Halli Trinkle in the team state quarterfinals match.
“That knocked me out of individuals, but I knew I had to refocus because we still had team on the line,” Lemonds said.
Lemonds did just that, beating Cathedral senior Maeve Koscielski to capture the decisive point in No. 1 Carmel’s 3-2 victory against No. 2 Cathedral in the IHSAA Girls Tennis Team State Finals championship match June 2 at North Central High School. It was the Greyhounds’ (17-1) second consecutive girls state team title and fifth in six years.
“I was definitely feeling a little pressure because I kept missing my serves,” Lemonds said. “The cheering from my teammates helped me.”
Carmel coach Spencer Fields said he figured it would come down to the No. 1 singles with two top college-bound players. Lemonds is headed to Michigan State and Koscielski to Notre Dame.
“These two girls have been so close for so long,” said Fields, whose team beat Brownsburg 5-0 in the semifinals earlier in the day.
Fields was proud of how Lemonds (22-1) bounced back from her earlier setback.
“It takes a lot for a person to rebuild themselves after losing their individual title. Luckily, Lauren had a goal of winning a team title all year,” Fields said. “She’s a great team player.”
Other winners for Carmel in the championship were junior Franny Werner at No. 3 singles and freshman Leila Antony and junior Apurva Manas, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 2 doubles.
In a battle of freshmen, Cathedral’s Ellie Pittman, a Carmel resident who finished 23-0, beat Sydney Morris 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2 singles.
“What a leader she has been. Ellie is going to be something the next couple of years,” said Cathedral coach Mark Noe, whose team previously lost to Carmel 3-2 in the regular season.
Greyhounds senior Grace Marchese and freshman Emma Brune lost to Cathedral’s Meg Coleman and Claire Koscielski at No. 1 doubles, but that didn’t dampen a special day for Marchese.
“This state title has meant so (much) more than the others because I know I’m a senior, and as seniors we’ve been leading the team all season,” Marchese said.
Marchese also was named the Indiana High School Athletic Association Mental Attitude Winner for girls tennis.
“I didn’t even know I was nominated,” Marchese said. “It’s special to be looked (at) as a leader, a scholar and someone who volunteers for their community.”