Hitchcock sisters, Murphy qualify for state tennis tournament


Trio won pair of district titles in singles, doubles play

By Eddie Mowen Jr. - cmowen@aimmediamidwest.com



Eaton senior Grace Murphy returns a shot during the opening round of the Division II district tennis tournament on Thursday, Oct. 14. She teamed with freshman Mallory Hitchcock to win the doubles championship and advance to the state tournament.


Eaton freshman Mallory Hitchcock serves during a first round distric tennis match on Thursday, Oct. 14. Hitchcock teamed with senior Grace Murphy to win the Division II doubles district championship and qualify for state.


Eaton junior Macy Hitchcock returns a shot during the opening round of the Division II district tournament on Thursday, Oct. 14. Hitchcock, the defending Division II state champion, won the district tournament and will return to state for a third time.


MASON — A trio of Eaton tennis players are headed to the state tournament after winning district championships this past weekend.

Defending Division II state champion Macy Hitchcock will be making her third appearance at state after beating Alter’s Grace Lampman in three sets, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, in the singles final on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

She will be joined at state by the doubles team of Grace Murphy and Mallory Hitchcock, who defeated Lexi Larson and Cassie Larson of Cincinnati Indian Hill 7-5, 6-0.

The state tournament will be held on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.

Macy Hitchcock opened district play on Thursday, Oct. 14 with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Sydney Evans of Cincinnati Wyoming. In her quarterfinal match, she defeated Caroline Boyle of Hamilton Badin 6-2, 6-1.

In the semifinals on Saturday, she beat Caroline Brown of Indian Hill 6-1, 6-2.

“By appearance, even though the match scores of the first three rounds look lopsided in Macy’s favor, they were all nice players with the skill set to do some damage to Macy had she left her guard down,” Eaton coach John Hitchcock said. “This was probably good for her because she had to zero in right from the start and stay mentally strong while these girls gave her their best shot.”

In the finals she met up with a familiar opponent whom she just played a week earlier in the sectional final.

“Macy really had to face some real adversity after she lost a close first set,” said coach Hitchcock. “It was the first time Macy had ever lost a set in postseason play since she was a freshman in the state tournament. So to see her do a hard reset and win the next two sets, one and one was truly impressive because the Alter girl was playing extremely well. It should also really help next week should the same scenario play out. That she can overcome losing a set and it’s not the end of the world.”

Hitchcock said it’s rare to have two of the top three players in the state come from the same sectional.

“It’s not often you get the reigning state champ and the third place (player) in state from the same district and even more rare from the same sectionals,” he said. “But that level of competition truly benefits both players and really prepares them for the competition at the State Tournament.”

For the doubles team, it will be their first trip to state and the first-ever doubles appearance at state by an Eaton team.

Murphy, a senior, and Mallory Hitchcock, a freshman, played singles throughout the regular season but teamed up once the postseason began.

“The doubles team had to overcome a few more hurdles early on but truly showed they have the character and make-up to play through tense, adverse conditions,” said coach Hitchcock. “The first two rounds the girls had to fight off some nerves but eventually prevailed by strong net play and taking care of the back court.”

On day one, the duo defeated Charlotte Scharfenberger and Sydney Schneider of Cincinnati Seven Hills 6-2, 6-0. In the quarterfinal match, they beat Sarika Singh and Elsa Zhou of Indian Hill 6-2, 6-1.

On Saturday, the team withstood some adversity to claim the district title, defeating Lynn Kader and Payton Puryear of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy 7-6 (5), 6-0 in the semifinals.

“On Saturday, they really showed their true metal as they played through a really hostile crowd from CHCA and overcame a first set deficit and eked out a first set that was over an hour long and 7-5 in the tiebreaker,” said coach Hitchcock. “CHCA blinked first and it cost them. That was basically the match right there as (we) rolled through the second set 6-0.”

The coach said the match in the finals with Indian Hill was eerily similar.

”Even though it was a tamer environment, the first set was extremely competitive and at one point (the girls) were facing three set points against them down 4-5, 40-love,” the coach said. “Then somehow, someway managed to save all three set points, and proceeded to win the next nine games in a row to win 7-5, 6-0. Once again, I think some nerves were at play but once that got worked out they were fine. The truth of the matter is, I don’t even think they tapped into their absolute best tennis playing and to be able to still win districts is a testament to them just staying composed and going with what was working. Hopefully at state they can continue to get better.”

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Eaton senior Grace Murphy returns a shot during the opening round of the Division II district tennis tournament on Thursday, Oct. 14. She teamed with freshman Mallory Hitchcock to win the doubles championship and advance to the state tournament.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/10/web1_ehs_tn5.jpgEaton senior Grace Murphy returns a shot during the opening round of the Division II district tennis tournament on Thursday, Oct. 14. She teamed with freshman Mallory Hitchcock to win the doubles championship and advance to the state tournament.

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Eaton freshman Mallory Hitchcock serves during a first round distric tennis match on Thursday, Oct. 14. Hitchcock teamed with senior Grace Murphy to win the Division II doubles district championship and qualify for state.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/10/web1_ehs_tn8.jpgEaton freshman Mallory Hitchcock serves during a first round distric tennis match on Thursday, Oct. 14. Hitchcock teamed with senior Grace Murphy to win the Division II doubles district championship and qualify for state.

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Eaton junior Macy Hitchcock returns a shot during the opening round of the Division II district tournament on Thursday, Oct. 14. Hitchcock, the defending Division II state champion, won the district tournament and will return to state for a third time.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/10/web1_ehs_tn13.jpgEaton junior Macy Hitchcock returns a shot during the opening round of the Division II district tournament on Thursday, Oct. 14. Hitchcock, the defending Division II state champion, won the district tournament and will return to state for a third time.

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Trio won pair of district titles in singles, doubles play

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

cmowen@aimmediamidwest.com