By MATT KOESTERS
FLOYDS KNOBS — For Silver Creek, it was a learning experience. For Floyd Central, it was just another day at the office.
The Floyd Central girls’ tennis team dispatched potential regional opponent Silver Creek in a 5-0 home victory on Monday.
Floyd Central coach Rick Miller explained that because his Highlanders might see the Dragons in the state tournament, Monday’s victory was about making a statement.
“When we play those teams, we want to go out and conduct ourselves, have a good time but not mess around, get off the court and let the other girls know that there’s no doubt,” Miller said. “We want those other girls to know, (and) other teams to know that if we play our game, it’s business as usual. Our girls take that attitude. That’s the way they (played) today, and I’m proud of them.”
The Highlanders allowed Silver Creek to capture just 10 games across five matches. But Silver Creek coach Robert Briscoe felt the scores weren’t indicative of how his team performed.
“We knew coming in here today it wasn’t going to be the easiest match for us, and it’s going to be that way for a lot of teams that come up here to play the Highlanders,” Briscoe said. “But that being said, I think in all of our matches we had great effort and great attitude.”
Floyd Central’s top singles player, Olivia Boesing, used her high-velocity game to keep Silver Creek’s Kathleen Hebble off-balance in a 6-2, 6-0 victory at No. 1 singles.
Boesing dominated the first three games of the match. Hebble attempted to battle her way back into the match, but Boesing was consistently the aggressor.
Boesing has consistently improved since last season, Miller said.
“Her conditioning is much better. She’s bigger, stronger, quicker,” Miller said. “She’s able to last longer, be out there and compete at a high level for a longer amount of time.
“It’s like in boxing — if you can’t go 15 rounds, you better get out of the ring because somebody’s going to find a way to beat you. Right now, she’s hopefully close to a 15-rounder. She can still get stronger.”
The rest of Floyd Central’s lineup proved to be equally up to the task. Carmen Schreiber held Silver Creek’s Kristen Haeberlein at bay in a 6-2, 6-1 victory, while Dana Frank finished off the singles sweep with a 6-0, 6-1 win over the Dragons’ Jenny Block.
Silver Creek was short-manned on the doubles side without Rain Hopkins, who missed the match to interview for a college scholarship. But Briscoe was happy with the way his team handled the adversity.
Katy Hawkins and Rebekah Knittle — normally the Dragons’ No. 2 doubles team — fell to Whitney Batliner and Katherine Dauby at No. 1 doubles, 6-1, 6-1. The Highlanders’ No. 2 doubles tandem of Chelsea Shackleford and Kadey Welch defeated Morgan Sharp and Tess Vanover, 6-0, 6-2.
Miller wants to see more improvement from his squad before the postseason arrives.
“If we’re playing the same way two weeks from now as we’re playing now, we’re not getting anything done,” Miller said. “... It’s about the finish line, and we’re not near the finish line. We’ve got to get better. We played good today — I give us a B, maybe a B-plus. But a B-plus won’t win a state championship.”
Floyd Central travels to Bloomington to face Terre Haute North at Indiana University today. Silver Creek hosts Clarksville today.
Floyd Central 5, Silver Creek 0
Singles — Boesing d. Hebble 6-2, 6-0; Schreiber d. Haeberlein 6-2, 6-1; Frank d. Block 6-0, 6-1.
Doubles — Batliner-Dauby d. Hawkins-Knittle 6-1, 6-1; Shackleford-Welch d. Sharp-Vanover 6-0, 6-2.