May 14—NEW ALBANY — New Albany made history Friday evening.
The Bulldogs beat visiting Seymour 3-2 to claim their first-ever Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament title.
“It’s really exciting. We thought it was the first time in New Albany history, but apparently our coach looked it up and our boys won in 1976, but for the girls it’s really exciting and I’ll never forget it,” junior Claire Meyer said.
The Bulldogs’ benchmark victory also had a revenge factor to it. The Owls outlasted New Albany 3-2 in last year’s HHC final.
“This was a great first step. We’ve been trying to overcome this hurdle for years now,” said Bulldogs coach Wes Briscoe, who is in his fourth season since taking over for legendary Bob Dusch. “We were lucky to inherit a program from the previous coach and I was lucky enough to have these girls in middle school, so we could start building the program up, and this is the accumulation of it.”
New Albany picked up one point in singles and two in doubles.
Meyer won 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1 singles.
“My match was good,” she said. “I played a little rocky here and there, but I’m just glad about my outcome. I wasn’t trusting my shots as much as I should have, but I tried my best and I had a good outcome, so I’m happy with myself.”
In doubles Lily Meyer, Claire’s twin sister, and Natalie Saydera triumphed 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1.
“Me and Nat, we came out really strong in the first set,” Lily Meyer said. “We had our serves, we had strong volleys — which really helped — and we didn’t let off the gas.”
“We killed it,” Saydera added. “We came out, we executed, got the dub.”
At No. 2 doubles, Maci Crone and Corinne Miller were victorious 6-3, 6-1.
“It went really good,” Crone said. “We got it done in two (sets), which we were very excited about, and let the pressure go off of us. We played really well, I thought.”
The victory was especially sweet for Crone, who lost the decisive match in last year’s final.
“I played two doubles last year, as well, and me and my partner Elise (Conrad), who is graduated now, we lost in three sets. It was pretty devastating,” she said. “But I’m glad we got the revenge this year.”
“They were going for their third in a row, so it felt really good to have our first. Maybe next year we’ll get a second in a row,” Claire Meyer said.
But first comes the postseason for the Bulldogs, who ended the regular season with a 15-1 record. Sectional play is scheduled to start Wednesday.
“This definitely is an edge, a confidence boost just to get us ready for sectionals and after that,” Lily Meyer said.