Season Ends For Caywood, Vanderhorst

St. Marys' Allie Vanderhorst (left) and Clare Caywood ended their seasons at the Division II girls tennis district tournament on Thursday at Bowling Green State University.
By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

Battle.

It’s what St. Marys Clare Caywood and Allie Vanderhorst did all afternoon at the Division II district girls tennis tournament with the chance at going to state on the line.

Two matches away from state, Caywood — the school’s all-time leader in wins — and Vanderhorst fell short of the Division II state tournament with Thursday’s stiff competition at Bowling Green State University.

But not after they put up a fight themselves.

Vanderhorst opened play against Lexington’s Katie Voltz, falling in the first set, 6-0, but the junior rebounded in the second set with a 6-4 victory to push the match to a third set before falling 6-0.

“Allie played very well today,” Roughriders coach Mariah Krugh said. “It is impressive to come back after getting defeated 0-6 in the first set and win the second set. Unfortunately, Voltz just bounced right back. Allie handed the wind well and stayed aggressive against a very good player.”

In her first season at singles, Vanderhorst finished third at the Western Buckeye League Championships two weeks ago and third at sectionals a week later. Her WBL record was 8-1 and her overall record was 20-6.

Caywood also opened district play against a Lexington player in Hayliegh Tucker in a back-and-forth match between both players.

Caywood led Tucker 5-3 in the first set, but Tucker finished the set by winning the next four games. Tucker took that momentum into the second set, where she led Caywood 2-1 early, before the Roughriders senior won four of the next six points played to tie the match at 1-1.

But the third and tiebreaker matches were the most exhausting.

Caywood trailed 4-3, but rallied to lead 5-4 and had game point, but Tucker survived the point, tying the third set at 5-5 and eventually grabbing a 6-5 with game point on four separate occasions.

Caywood held off Tucker’s attempt at winning the match each time and forced a tiebreaker with the match deadlocked at 6-6.

Quickly, Tucker led the tiebreaker 3-0, but Caywood rallied to win the tiebreaker and match, 7-4.

“Clare worked so hard in that first match,” Krugh said. “She never gave up and dug herself out of many holes. I’m so proud of how Clare kept her composure and focus.”

Caywood’s final numbers in her first match was 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4). 

Moving onto the second round of the district bracket, Caywood player against Ottawa Hills’ Priya Bhatt, where she fell 6-7 (5-7), 1-6. 

“The next match Clare played, the first set was very close,” Krugh said. “She played her game and she played it well.”

Caywood ends her career with a 23-4 record in her senior season, became the all-time leader in school history with 78 wins — topping Tara Smith’s 17-yard old record of 73 victories — and will finish with the fourth-most wins in a single season with her 23 wins this year. She tied Kelly Fritz’s 2008 record of 23-4.

“It has been such a pleasure coaching both Clare and Allie,” Krugh said. “I look forward to another successful season with Allie next year, and Clare will most certainly be missed.” 

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