FORT WAYNE – Rachel Sutton walked off the Carroll tennis court Friday in about 30 minutes, collecting a win at No. 1 singles for the host Chargers.
The senior’s quick decision helped set a swift tone for Carroll in a 4-1 win in the finals over Leo for the program’s third straight sectional crown.
It’s an all-or-nothing thing in the postseason, Sutton said. If you lose, you’re done. Every match you just go out there and play 100 percent and give it all you got.
The No. 23 Chargers (17-3) finished the match in just more than an hour, handing Leo (11-2) its only two losses this season.
It’s not in a hurry, it is just how she plays, Carroll coach Kyle Stoffel said of Sutton. She dictates how the match is going to go. It’s always on her terms, no matter who she plays. It’s nice to have the 1-0 (lead) on the board. Everybody else can see that.
Carroll beat Leo 5-0 in the regular season.
They are a good team, and we are the only one to hand them a loss, they were undefeated before we played them, Stoffel said of his message to his team before the match.
You don’t want to come into this thinking we won 5-0 the first time. To their credit, I don’t think (the Chargers) did.
Carroll followed Sutton’s lead, and it has been that way all season – all four years. This year, Sutton set the school record for career wins.
After playing four years at No. 1 singles, Sutton (22-1) is now 88-13 for her career. Sutton beat Leo’s Jennifer Timbrook 6-0, 6-0.
It’s real special, Sutton said of the wins record. I remember my freshman year, and I was like how do you get 85 wins (the old record)? That’s a lot of wins.
The Chargers will now face Huntington North in the regional semifinals Tuesday that will be played at Homestead.
A rematch and redemption against No. 10 Canterbury could await Carroll in Wednesday’s regional finals.
Canterbury beat Carroll 4-1 this year, with Sutton suffering an elbow injury that caused her to miss a match and her only loss against the Cavaliers’ Leah Barnes (22-0).
I definitely need (the rematch) after the match with the injury, Sutton said. I need to play, and it’s good for my confidence. I am ready for it.
Sutton hurt herself early in the match when she slipped and fell to the court. She stayed in the match and lost to Barnes 6-3, 6-2.
She has every chance in the world to beat Leah Barnes, Stoffel said. The way Rachel has played this season, and if she goes out and plays this way Wednesday, she will be fine. That can kind of set the tone.
Also for Carroll, Jenna Jackson won at No. 2 singles, 6-4, 6-4 over Haley Parker; Taylor Stanchin and Makenzie Schoeff won at No. 1 doubles 6-1, 6-0 over Abbey Keele and Seven Wieland; and Melissa Soden and Clarice Lopez won 6-3, 6-1 over Sophia Roselle and Ashton Heidenreic. Leo’s Annya Mohlman beat Brittany Keuneke at No. 3 singles 6-3, 6-1 for the Lions’ lone point.