WAUKEE — For the first time in over 20 years, the Central College women’s tennis team had the top doubles pairing at the American Rivers Conference Individual Championships Saturday afternoon.
The 2020 version of the conference individual tournament was a new format as each player was only allowed to play in either the singles bracket or doubles bracket, but not both. Central entered nine doubles pairings across the A and B Flights and only had four singles players all in the C Flight.
Winning all three A Flight doubles matches, Karleigh Schilling (senior, Swisher, Cedar Rapids Prairie HS) and Alyssa Lewton (junior, Ankeny Centennial HS) are the first Central duo since Megan Vande Wall and Angie Klanderman in 1996 to win the league’s highest doubles bracket.
“Karleigh and Alyssa dominated the whole day,” coach Ryun Ferrell said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.
In the B Flight of doubles, Central had the silver and bronze medalists. Katie Larson (junior, Fort Madison) and Macy Scharff (junior, Oskaloosa) finished 2-1 on the day, losing in the championship match to place second. Alex Griggs (sophomore, Knoxville) and Sarah Schirm (junior, Cedar Rapids, Xavier HS) also went 2-1, finishing third.
“They got tough,” Ferrell said. “They’re both talented teams. It speaks volume about them to finish in the spots they did.”
Alli Kreider (freshman, Norwalk) was the runner-up in the C Flight of singles with a 3-1 record. She played at her old high school courts as the C flight matches were played at Norwalk High School.
“It was a neat thing,” Ferrell said. “She’s really improved a ton since she got to Central and it really showed today. I’m looking forward to her future at Central.”
In all matches played, Central players achieved a 28-17 record.
“It was great a day for Central tennis,” Ferrell said. “Everybody played hard and didn’t stop.”
Central finishes out the fall season next Thursday with a 3 p.m. match at home against Loras College.