Woodmen get past Cubs in county tourney semis

Three-time champion Greenwood topped host Franklin 4-1 on Monday afternoon in the semifinals of the annual Johnson County Girls Tennis Tournament.

Up next for the Woodmen is a match against Center Grove at a time that’s yet to be determined, as rain has plagued much of the season.

First-year Greenwood coach Jeremy Runge said his team has been playing well as of late, cold weather notwithstanding.

“For all but one match this year, I’ve been dressed like this,” said Runge, who was bundled up in sweats and a hoodie. “And I’m still cold, but the girls are playing well right now and are back in the finals.”

Greenwood swept singles play, dominating while losing only six sets.

Woodmen junior Abby Chatham led the way with a 6-1, 6-1 win against Maddy Long at No. 1 singles.

Fellow junior and No. 2 Joanna Moran won 6-3, 6-1, but the most impressive of the day was freshman No. 3 singles player Maddie Bright, who won 6-0, 6-0, against Franklin’s Lexi Hash.

Greenwood had some pretty good performances despite the whipping winds.

“It was definitely tricky out there,” Runge said. “It was very windy, and the girls had to learn to adjust their tosses rather quickly.”

While the Woodmen had the match wrapped up by the end of singles play, the Grizzly Cubs proved more competitive in doubles competition.

The No. 1 doubles team of Ally Newman and Molly Jacobs of Greenwood won, 6-3, 6-1, but it was Franklin’s No. 2 tandem of Nina Biasi and Kaitlyn Odgen that kept the match going longer with a 7-5, 6-3 win against Sadie Brooks and Alyssa Roscoe.

Greenwood has a chance to win its fourth straight county championship and first for Runge, a rookie coach who at this time last year was preparing for a different kind of final — one he would ultimately pass en route to graduating from the University of Indianapolis.

“No pressure here, huh?” Runge said. “But as I’m new, it’s kind of an advantage for me because I truly believe we can go into any match and win.

“The girls have been playing well in this weather and have been in all their matches. I’m looking forward to this final.”

Franklin fell to 6-3 on the season.

Ken Severson is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.