A new champion was crowned June 7 as North Central of Indianapolis ended a four-year drought and captured the 23rd Annual IHSAA Girls Tennis Team Championships at North Central High School in Indianapolis.

The top-ranked Panthers (21-0) downed previously unbeaten and second-ranked Munster, 4-1, to capture their ninth state title in girls tennis and first since 1992. North Central was making its 11th appearance in the championship match, while Munster was seeking its first title in its third appearance in the championship round.

North Central led the match 2-1, and clinched the title when sophomore Jessica Levin rallied from a set down to defeat Mustang senior Kelli Hayes at No. 1 singles, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. Senior No. 3 singles player Katie Barrett of North Central finished 26-0 after a pair of straight set victories over Lorien Ingalls of Evansville Memorial in the semifinals and Lisa Young of Munster in the championship match.

North Central ended Evansville Memorialís (20-2) four-year run as state champion in the semifinals with a 4-1 victory, while Munster (23-1) downed Homestead (19-3) in the other semifinal match 4-1. In the consolation match, Evansville Memorial edged Homestead, 3-2, in a rematch of the last two state title matches.

Sasha Cooperman of Homestead High School was named the winner of the Mental Attitude Award in Girls Tennis by the IHSAA Executive Committee. Cooperman and her No. 1 doubles partner, Katie Walker, finished the year with a 23-2 record. Cooperman was a member of four straight state finals teams at Homestead. She ranks in the top 15 percent of her senior class, served as its vice president, and is a member of the National Honor Society. Farm Bureau Insurance, corporate partner of the IHSAA, will present a $1,000 scholarship to Homestead High School in Coopermanís name.

 team State Finals

June 7, 1997

North Central High School, Indianapolis, Indiana



North Central (Indpls.) 4, Munster 1


1. Jessica Levin (NC) def. Kelli Hayes (M), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3

2. Lisa Eidam (M) def. Suzette Solomon (NC), 7-6 (8-6), 6-3

3. Katie Barrett (NC) def. Lisa Young (M), 6-2, 6-1



1. Christy Agness/Laura Waggoner (NC) def. Annie Knish/Jeannie Knish (M), 3-6, 6-4, 7-5

2. Lindsey Nell/Liane Groth (NC) def. Torie Cox/Alison Schumacher (M), 6-0, 6-1



Evansville Memorial 3, Homestead 2


1. Ann Poosuthasee (EM) def. Molly Figel (H), 6-2, 6-2

2. Natalie Palmenter (EM) def. Veronica Carr (H), 6-2, 6-0

3. Lorien Ingalls (EM) def. Jaci Baumgartner (H), 6-1, 6-1



1. Sasha Cooperman/Katie Walker (H) def. Caryn Hague/Carrie Spear (EM), 6-2, 4-6, 7-5

2. Alicia Butz/Carly Everett (H) def. Erica Baas/Carie Edge (EM), 6-4, 6-3



Munster 4, Homestead 1


1. Kelli Hayes (M) def. Molly Figel (H), 3-6, 6-1, 6-1

2. Lisa Eidam (M) def. Veronica Carr (H), 6-2, 6-0

3. Lisa Young (M) def. Jaci Baumgartner (H), 6-2, 6-3



1. Annie Knish/Jeannie Knish (M) def. Sasha Cooperman/Katie Walker (H), 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5)

2. Alicia Butz/Carly Everett (H) def. Torie Cox/Alison Schumacher (M), 6-1, 6-0


North Central (Indpls.) 4, Evansville Memorial 1


1. Jessica Levin (NC) def. Ann Poosuthasee (EM) 6-2, 6-4

2. Natalie Palmenter (EM) def. Suzette Solomon (NC), 6-2, 6-4

3. Katie Barrett (NC) def. Lorien Ingalls (EM), 6-0, 6-1



1. Christy Agness/Laura Waggoner (NC) def. Caryn Hague/Carrie Spear (EM), 6-1, 7-5

2. Lindsey Nell/Liane Groth (NC) def. Erica Baas/Carie Edge (EM), 6-1, 6-2