2009-10 State Finals Recap

June 5, 2010

Alaina Roberts’ upset of former singles champion Caroline Hedrick at No. 1 clinched the state championship for South Bend St. Joseph’s which went on to sweep Columbus North, 5-0, in the final match of the 2010 IHSAA Girls Tennis State Finals in Indianapolis.

Roberts (22-4), a St. Joe’s sophomore, handed Hedrick, a Columbus North senior, the first loss of her season, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and secured the second girls tennis championship for the South Bend school. Hedrick (26-1) won the singles state championship as a sophomore in 2008 and finished as the state runner-up during her freshman and junior seasons.

St. Joseph’s won both doubles matches in straight sets to take an early 2-0 lead behind Elle Harding and Bridget Veldman at No. 1 and Abby Watkins and Kayle Sexton at No. 2.

With the outcome already decided, Jessi Rink of St. Joseph’s took a three-set decision at No. 2 singles, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, from previously undefeated Allie Smith (27-1) of Columbus North. And Darby Mountford (17-0) polished off a perfect sophomore season at No. 3 with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 win over Grace Younushonis.

St. Joe’s last state championship in girls tennis came in 1974-75 with runner-up finish in 1975-76. It was the school’s seventh in any sport.

Morning rain forced the semifinal and championship matches indoors to the Five Seasons Sports Club from North Central High School.

St. Joseph’s, which finished 21-3 under coach Bill Mountford, defeated Zionsville in Friday’s state quarterfinals, 4-1, and then swept Center Grove, 5-0, for its spot in the championship match. Columbus North (22-3), coached by Bill Blankenbaker, upset defending state champion Carmel, 3-2, on Friday, and bested Terre Haute South, 3-2 in the semifinals. Columbus North was making its first appearance in the state title match.

Terre Haute South senior Eesha Purohit was named the recipient of the Mental Attitude Award during today’s state finals by the IHSAA Executive Committee.

Purohit played No. 1 singles for the Braves (19-1) this season helping her team to the state finals for the second straight year after playing No. 2 doubles for last year’s fourth place team.

Academically, she will graduate as valedictorian of her class of 394 students. She is an AP Scholar, has received a National Merit Scholarship and plans to study pre-med at Penn State University.

She is a member of the National Honor Society, is president of the Asian American Club, a member of Interact and was captain of the Spell Bowl squad.

She is the daughter of Divyesh Purohit of Terre Haute.

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance will present a $1,000 scholarship to Terre Haute South High School in the name of Purohit.