By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
SAVANNAH - Bishop LeBlond made history last fall when the girls' tennis team made it to state and finished in the top four for the first time since 2009.
The Eagles (10-3) look to repeat, if not rewrite history, in 2021. LeBlond went on the road and dominated a tough Savannah team, 5-0, at Savannah High School on Wednesday afternoon in the Class 1 District 16 team championship.
The Eagles dominated, going 3-0 in doubles and 2-0 in singles. LeBlond claims the district title for a second straight year, and qualifies for the state tournament as a team in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1996-97.
"I'm so happy and so proud of them," LeBlond head tennis coach Jackson Gwinn said, leading the Eagles to state in his first season coaching the girls. "They did even better than I thought they would do. They really surpassed my expectations. Just...playing their best, playing their hardest, staying focused. That's all I can ask of them."
Senior Peyton Netten and sophomore Emily Weddle, who both qualified for state at the individual district tournament as a doubles team on Saturday, were also individual state qualifiers in 2020 - Netten went last year in doubles, and Weddle went last year in singles.
"It really shows how hard we work in practice to get to where we are," Netten said. "We wouldn't get to where we are without the work that we put in."
Weddle qualified for state in doubles as an individual for the first time Wednesday after going to state in singles as an individual, and going with the team to state as a freshman last year.
"I'm just really proud of myself," Weddle said. "Really excited. Just a really big accomplishment for me."
The doubles team of Netten and freshman Iris Ideker, who qualified for sectionals individually as a freshman in singles Saturday, won on Wednesday, 8-5. Weddle and freshman Murphy King won their doubles match Wednesday 8-3, while senior Lily Sullivan junior Katie King won their doubles match, 8-2.
In singles, Sullivan won her match 6-0, 6-1, and Weddle won 6-1, 6-1.
LeBlond moves on to team sectionals, where they'll face either Marshall or Lafayette County on October 11 - most likely at the Noyes Tennis Courts. Start time is to be determined.
Individual sectionals for doubles and singles start this weekend.
"Throughout the lineup, I was just very happy with their performance," Gwinn said. "Everyone just stayed tough and played their game and that's all we need to do. I think we'll keep doing well in sectionals and hopefully state if they just keep that mind set."
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