MASON — Eaton sophomore Macy Hitchcock will head back to the OHSAA State Tennis Tournament after winning the OHSAA Southwest District Tournament this past weekend.
Macy was one of five Eaton players that qualified for the district tournament including the doubles pairings of senior Sophia Murphy and junior Grace Murphy as well as seniors Tess Murphy and Erika Wilkinson.
En route to the district title, Hitchcock won against Peyton Wilhelm (Mariemont) 6-0, 6-0, and Lynn Kader (CHCA) 6-0, 6-0 to get to the semifinals.
In the semifinals, she faced off against Grace Lampman (Alter), and though she won in two sets 7-5, 6-3, it was not an easy going match, according to Eaton coach John Hitchcock, who said the match lasted nearly two hours.
“She just kind of made Macy really have to buckle down and just keep fighting,” Coach Hitchcock said. “She really pushed her…For a straight set match to kind of go that long, kind of shows that the points were long, games were long, and it was definitely not an easy match to get through.”
After winning the semifinal match, Macy faced off against a familiar opponent: Oakwood’s Lily McCloskey, who Macy has a dominant streak of wins against.
While there wasn’t an easy point to be had in the match, it still resulted in a comfortable 6-3, 7-6 win for Macy that resulted in a district title, her second in as many years.
”Another tough match,” Coach Hitchcock said. “Lily made her earn every point.”
The Murphy sisters fell in their opening match to Jenny Zhang and Lexi Larsen of Indian Hill.
After taking the first set 6-4, they dropped the second set 3-6, falling just short in a tightly contested third set 6-7.
“When it came time for some of the critical points, they weren’t able to get them to go their way,” Coach Hitchcock said. “The other team just kept hanging around long enough to ultimately outplay them.”
Tess Murphy and Wilkinson also fell in their opening match to Megan Tan and Shriya Sekar of Seven Hills.
The doubles duo had the opportunity to play on center court at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason. While it may not have been filled with fans like normal, it was still a sight to behold playing in the center of it all.
“I could see probably at first, you know, it’s got a little intimidation factor to it, but probably took a good part of the first set to kind of get settled down and try to start playing some tennis,” Coach Hitchcock said. “Ultimately, they were disappointed with the loss, but I think they thought it was pretty cool that they got to play out there.”
Macy will head to state for the second consecutive season, and Coach Hitchcock said he’s proud of the accomplishment.
“It was definitely one of the goals she was working towards this season, so I know she’s happy with it,” he said. “Not done yet. The goal was to make it there and then do a little better than what she did last year.”
Hitchcock will take on Claudia Adcock of Orrville in the first round of the state tournament on Friday, Oct. 23 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles