By Paul Hines
Mt. Vernon's girls tennis team placed fourth in Monday's South Seven Conference tournament.
The host team Centralia won the title with 25 points. Other team scores were: Althoff 22, Carbondale 20, Mt. Vernon 13 and Marion 10.
“Three really good teams finished above us,” Mt. Vernon coach Randy Knox said.
The Lady Rams are still without top player Jade Knox due to injury.
“We knew some things weren't going to line up real good for us, but give credit to the other teams and how well they played,” Knox said.
Each team uses four singles players and a pair of doubles teams during the course of the competition. A bracket is formed for all six groupings, and players compete for titles in No. 1,2,3 and singles along with No. 1 and 2 doubles.
Mt. Vernon's highest finisher came in No. 1 doubles where Amanda Scott and Abigail Winkler finished third overall. The duo lost their opening round matchup but beat a team from Althoff 6-2, 6-0 in the third-place match.
“They were up in the first and second set in their match against a Centralia team that ended up winning that flight,” Knox said. “And they couldn't quite pull the set out. They lost that, but came back in the third-place match and played excellent in that one.”
All four of Mt. Vernon's singles players – Catie Raney, Shubhika Jain, Gauri Kaushal and Liz Hurt - placed fourth in their brackets.
“They ran up against some real good players in their other matches I thought, but the effort was good so that's all I can ask for.”
The Lady Rams doubles team of Anessa Montgomery and Shreya Nair lost both matches they played and were eliminated.
Mt. Vernon starts sectional play Friday.