The Blair girls tennis team went 0-4 Thursday at the Class B State Tennis Championships in Lincoln, but coach Matt Aschoff was nothing but complimentary in the aftermath.
The Bears were improved in 2019, winning duals more regularly and giving their opposition tougher competition throughout the season. The coach said as much and the results showed it.
At No. 1 singles, BHS senior Cassie Meeder fell to Elkhorn's Becca Vala 6-1, 6-2.
“(She) had a great year and has improved so much over the past four years,” Aschoff said, noting a strong showing against the No. 11 seed during the first round at the Woods Tennis Center
Abby O'Brien, meanwhile, dropped her No. 2 singles match to the Antlers' Morgan Habrock. The senior fell 6-1, 6-2 as well.
“(Abby) played very well,” Aschoff said. “Played her best tennis last week at the Waverly Invite and today.”
The Bears' senior duo at No. 1 doubles, Laura Dutton and Meaghan Livermore, lost their first round match 6-0, 6-1. Livermore toughed out a sprained ankle to compete against the 28-4 Ogallala pair, Lilith Fair and Madison Mendoza.
“They played better as the season progressed,” Aschoff said.
Michaela Diehm and Ava Rech got off to a slow start at No. 2 doubles, but the Blair juniors bounced back with a competitive second set against York's Erin Case and Natalie Rockenbach.
“They didn't come out well, and fought well the second set, but it wasn't enough,” Aschoff said of his pair's 6-0, 6-3 defeat. “They had a great year.”
Meeder finished her senior season 9-13 in singles matches, while O'Brien was 4-14 to go with her 4-6 doubles record, according to NSAA statistics.
Dutton — a student-athlete winner of BHS' 2019 Rufus Olson Award — was 8-14 playing doubles, exclusively. Her partner, Livermore, added a 3-7 mark in singles competition.
Diehm and Rech were 10-9 together in doubles matches, while going 12-12 and 11-9 in them overall, respectively. Rech was 6-5 in singles matches during the 2019 campaign, while Diehm went 5-6.