Annie Lewis walked off the tennis court in tears.
They were tears of joy accompanied by a big congratulatory hug from Kickapoo coach Chris Kohl. The senior Lewis went out a winner in Kickapoo’s 5-4 loss to St. Joseph’s Academy in the third place match of the 2015 MSHSAA Girls Tennis Championships state team tournament at Cooper Tennis Complex.
Lewis smiled through the tears, finishing her varsity career with a win in the state tournament.
“It’s incredible. Never making it to state, having two previous chances, nothing means more,” Lewis said.
Madeline Ohlms took the first set from Lewis 6-4. Three games went to deuce, but Lewis struggled to catch breaks when she needed them most.
Lewis rallied to force a tiebreaker in the second set, which she won 7-3.
“I knew that I am athletic and endure, and that’s really what I wanted. I was like, ‘I can do this, I want to do this for my team,’” Lewis said.
The pivotal third set started with three games won for Lewis. She went on to win it 6-2, taking match point on a passing crosscourt forehand.
“This team is a family and we just play for each other. It’s a really, really special group of girls, coaches and teammates,” Lewis said.
Lewis joins seniors Meghan Zengel and Hannah Anderson in leaving a team that went 19-4 on the year. Zengel and her sophomore partner Coral Tracy are qualified to play Friday and Saturday in the state individual doubles tournament.
Kickapoo lost 5-0 to eventual state champion Rock Bridge in the semifinals.
Bolivar competed in the Class 1 final four Thursday at Cooper Tennis Complex. The Liberators fell to MICDS in the semifinals 5-1 and to Pembroke Hill 5-0 in the third place match to finish fourth in the state tournament.
St. Joseph’s Academy 5, Kickapoo 4
1. Meghan Zengel, Kickapoo def. Olivia Conners, St. Joseph’s 6-3, 6-1
2. Coral Tracy, Kickapoo def. Morgan Kane, St. Joseph’s 6-2, 6-4
3. Annie Lewis, Kickapoo def. Madeline Ohlms, St. Joseph’s 4-6, 7-6, 6-2
4. Libby Hartnagel, St. Joseph’s def. Claire Conway, Kickapoo 3-6, 7-6, 7-6
5. Julia Rowan, St. Joseph’s def. Reagan Brown, Kickapoo 6-2, 2-6, 6-0
6. Megan Lenzen, Kickapoo def. Hannah Anderson, St. Joseph’s 6-1, 6-0
1. Ellie Burger/Madeline Ohlms, St. Joseph’s def. Megan Zengel/Coral Tracy 8-5
2. Morgan Kane/Libby Hartnagel, St. Joseph’s def. Annie Lewis/Claire Conway, Kickapoo 8-3
3. Julia Rowan/Megan Lenzen, St. Joseph’s def. Reagan Brown/Hannah Anderson, Kickapoo 8-2
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