MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Maggie Crumbliss has yet to lose a tennis match in two seasons of varsity action for the Baylor tennis team, yet none of her victories compare to her most recent one.
Crumbliss sealed the Lady Red Raiders 4-2 victory over rival GPS with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 victory over Hannah Morrow at No. 5 singles, giving Baylor its first team championship since 2000 and fifth overall.
The win was also Baylor’s fourth of the year over GPS, who fought point for point with their rivals and got wins from Bronte Goodhue and Michelle Fleenor in singles.
Baylor countered with wins from Sonja Brkovic, Harper Caswell and Crumbliss in addition to the doubles point from winning two of the three contested matches.
“The whole year, we’ve been in tight situations,” Baylor coach Dustin Kane said. “GPS is a tough opponent, and we’ve played them so much that we know their styles.
“Add the pressure of this being a state championship match and it was just great for the girls to step up; a different player has stepped up with a big win every time we’ve played them.”
Wednesday was Crumbliss’s turn, as all eyes turned to her court, where both she and McCall Morgan were competing. Crumbliss’s win sent the team onto the court in celebration.
“It’s an exciting feeling for us,” Crumbliss said, “especially because we lost to them last year in the finals.
“I’ve been undefeated for two years, but this one feels better because we’re state champions on top of that.”
GPS loses Goodhue and Lauren Schlabach, with a solid core group returning for the Bruisers.
“Everybody fought hard for us,” GPS coach Sue Bartlett said. “Baylor was just a little tougher, but I was proud of how the girls played. I’m disappointed — you never like to lose — but we gave our best.”
Baylor has four freshmen in its top six, so Crumbliss has already set forth a plan for the team’s core group.
“We’re going for four in a row,” she said. “That’s the plan.”