By FRED KRONER
Mahomet-Seymour’s girls’ tennis program had two of the nine all-Apollo Conference selections and secured two top three places in the annual league tournament last weekend at Effingham.
At No. 2 singles, Lauren Henderson won back-to-back matches in straight sets to advance into the championship match, which she lost.
At No. 2 doubles, the duo of Annie Bao and Mrinali Kesavadas won two of three matches and placed third. Both wins were in straight sets, including 7-6, 7-6 in the third-place match.
At No. 1 doubles, Henderson and Zoe Doehring went 1-1 and placed fifth.
Also taking fifth with 1-1 tournament records were Bao at No. 1 singles, Doehring at No. 3 singles and Amalie Fried at No. 5 singles.
Going 0-2 and ending sixth were Kesavadas at No. 4 singles, Britta Slupski at No. 6 singles and the doubles team of Megan Bostaph and Amy Schuh.
The Bulldogs’ all-conference representatives were Henderson and Doehring.
In the team standings, M-S was fifth with 20 points.
Effingham captured team honors (57 points) followed by Charleston (39), Mattoon (35) and Mount Zion (32).
On Thursday, M-S dropped a 6-3 dual-meet decision at Urbana.
Henderson and Kesavadas were victorious in singles matches. Bao and Kesavadas were triumphant in doubles.
M-S is 2-4 in dual meets.
The Bulldogs return to action on Thursday against St. Thomas More at the Atkins Tennis Center in Champaign.
M-S (11-2-4) extended its streak of consecutive matches without a loss to 10 by sweeping back-to-back matches in which they allowed one goal to each opponent.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs handled state-ranked Champaign Central, 3-1.
Austin Carr, who has a team-high 16 goals, had a hat trick against the Maroons. He was assisted by Joah Moore, Ethan Mansfield and Kadyn Jones.
“He (Carr) had his best performance of the year against the best competition of the year,” M-S coach Jeremy Davis said.
On Thursday, Mansfield had a goal and an assist as M-S edged Charleston 2-1 to improve to 5-0-2 in Apollo Conference matches.
Mansfield was assisted on the first goal by Moore and he set up Carr for what proved to be the game-winner.
The match with Central (15-3) was played three days after postseason seeds had been determined.
Central is the No. 1 seed, followed by Mattoon and M-S.
“Excited for the boys to play well against such high-level competition,” said Davis, whose team is 8-0-2 in its last 10 matches.
M-S returns to action on Tuesday at Mattoon.
The Bulldogs placed third on Saturday in the flighted Wheaton North Falcon Classic.
In the race for teams’ No. 1 runners, M-S’ Elizabeth Sims was sixth with a season-best 17-minute, 47.9-second time for the 3-mile course.
Among No. 2 runners, the Bulldogs’ Brisa McGrath was first with a season-best 17:59.0 clocking.
There were 18 competitors in each race.
Among No. 3 runners, M-S’ Madi Balbach was 13th with a season-best 18:57.5 time.
In the race for No. 4 runners, Bulldog Olivia Bunting was seventh with a season-best 18:55.7 performance.
At No. 5, Delaney King was sixth in a season-best 19:14.4.
At No. 6, Grace Lietz was fifth in 19:09.2, a season-best mark.
At No. 7, Klein Powell was third in a season-best 19:25.1.
In an open race for freshmen and sophomores, which attracted 230 runners, M-S’ Emily Bednar was 15th in a season-best 19:47.4 and Chloe Allen was 39th in 20:23.. Gretchen Scheele was 99th in 21:39.7 and Fiona Taylor was 121st in 22:21.2.
In the 18-school varsity team chase, M-S took third with 41 points.
Meet champion New Trier had 22 points and was followed by Elmhurst York (27).
The Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday in the Normal U-High Invitational.
The Bulldogs (1-5) were officially eliminated from playoff consideration when visiting Effingham rolled to a 64-28 victory at Frank Dutton Field on Friday, spoiling the M-S homecoming.
In its current four-game losing streak, the team has scored 102 points and totaled at least 20 points in each game.
Dawson Finch and Jordan Veldman each scored two M-S touchdowns. The TDs were Finch’s first two of the season by rushing.
Joah Moore was 4-for-4 on his conversion kicks.
Veldman amassed 317 all-purpose yards, gaining a team-high 112 rushing, adding 72 on three pass receptions and collecting another 133 on nine kick-off returns.
His total accounted for 72 percent of the team’s 438 all-purpose yards.
Effingham totaled 618 all-purpose yards, including 251 passing and 155 rushing.
Finch completed 6 of his 23 pass attempts for 100 yards, with a long gainer of 52 yards to Veldman. Dylan Gates had two catches and Connor Thomason caught one pass.
Clay Hubble was the second leading M-S ground-gainer, rushing for 67 yards on 10 carries.
Daunte Roberts (nine tackles), Hunter Berg (eight tackles) and Zach Travis (six tackles) were the defensive leaders.
Berg had the team’s only tackle for loss and Thomason picked off a pass. He has three of the team’s four interceptions to date.
M-S returns to action on Friday at Mount Zion (4-2), which needs one more win to become playoff eligible.
For the season, Finch has passed for 840 yards. Veldman leads the team in rushing, receiving and return yards, totaling 1,214 all-purpose yards in six games.
Roberts has a team-high 55 tackles.
Defensively, the Bulldogs are allowing an average of 37.7 points per game.
Savannah Matthews posted a double-double (13 kills, 11 digs) as M-S (13-9) rallied from a one-set deficit to win at Mattoon, 11-25, 25-12, 25-18.
The Bulldogs have won three matches in a row and are 6-2 in Apollo Conference matches after avenging an early-season three-set loss to the Green Wave.
Kayin Garner handed out 24 assists. Lauren Minick had eight kills.
Josie Hess had a team-high 13 digs.
Garner served five aces and Matthews landed three aces.
Matthews has a team-high 221 kills in 22 matches.
Other team leaders are Garner with 365 assists and 36 aces, Yeakel with 35 blocks and Hess with 278 digs.
Minick and Ainsley Ranstead each have at least 100 kills. Ellie Beach and Ashley Wheeler both have at least 21 aces.
The team returns to action on Tuesday at home against Mount Zion.
Emma Amjad (49) placed fifth individually and the Bulldogs wound up second in a three-team meet at Decatur’s Southside Country Club on Thursday.
Other leaders for the Bulldogs were Sarah Amjad (52), Cece Abramson (53) and Jade Harms (60).
St. Thomas More had the top four placers and compiled a 174 team score. M-S had 214 combined strokes and Mount Zion had 219.
The team returns to action on Wednesday at the Rantoul Regional.