NuMINE — Indiana blanked West Shamokin, 5-0, in a WPIAL Section 4-AA girls’ tennis match Thursday to clinch at least a share of the section title for the third straight season.
Indiana can win the title outright with a victory over Burrell at home on Sept. 30. Indiana went undefeated last year and won the title outright, and the previous season the Indians shared the title with Burrell.
They enter their final home match at 11-1 overall and 9-0 in the section under sixth-year coach Ray Goss.
“We’re pretty solid from top to bottom,” Goss said. “Some new girls emerged this year to fill our roster and really helped a lot. And Lucy Bujdos, of course, she won the section singles title for the second year in a row. She’s our linchpin. We can count on her to win the first match every time, and that really puts the pressure on the opponent.”
Indiana relied on its depth Thursday with regulars Kate Palko and Megan Clawson out of the lineup, Palko due to band practice for Saturday’s Bandfest and Clawson with an illness.
Bujdos, a junior, won at No. 1 singles without giving up a point, and Carly Morrow and Eugina Chun each won in straight sets, with Chun going to a tiebreaker.
In doubles, Kylie Horvath and Margaux Marcus won at No. 1, and Jennifer Han and Elle Varner followed suit at No. 2. Both tandems won in straight sets.
Horvath and Morrow, both seniors, usually team up at No. 1 doubles, but with the shortage in the lineup, Morrow moved to singles and Horvath played with Marcus in doubles. Han and Chun filled in for the missing starters.
“Today we were able to mix and match so that was very helpful,” Goss said.
“Of the three new girls, Margaux Marcus is only a freshman, and she jumped right into the starting lineup in doubles, and a lot of times that’s where matches are won. Also, Eugina Chun and Jennifer Han have stepped up. Today we were missing two girls — and they’re two of our best — so that’s where we needed that depth, and these girls filled in. West Shamokin isn’t real strong, but we were able to beat them 5-0 with some new girls seeing action.”
Indiana also clinched a berth in the WPIAL team playoffs, which are set to begin Oct. 9.
“We’re looking forward to the team playoffs,” Goss said. “We got a home match last year, so we’re hoping for that again. And hopefully we’ll have some success that we haven’t had in the past, so that would be something new.”
West Shamokin fell to 2-6 overall and 1-6 in the section. The Wolves play at Valley on Monday.