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Last updated: Fri. May. 30, 2014 - 09:51 am EDT

Canterbury faces big challenge in North Central

Cavaliers and Panthers play at 10 a.m. Saturday

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Throughout the spring, the Canterbury girls tennis team has been the favorite in almost every match on the schedule. The No. 10-ranked Cavaliers take an 18-1 record into Saturday's 10 a.m. Concordia Semistate where they will face No. 2 Indianapolis North Central, 20-2. The winner advances to the team state finals June 6 at Carmel.

"The way we've been playing this year, we've been surprising some people with what we're doing,'' Canterbury coach Jerry Gerig said. "We were ranked in the teens at the start of the year, and I thought that was a little high actually, but we kept winning and we earned our way into the top 10 by beating good teams.''

Canterbury's only loss this season came to No. 13 Terre Haute North 3-2 in the Delta Round Robin on April 19.

"I think our schedule is as good as anybody's, and that makes a difference in close matches,'' Gerig said. "We play as many state-ranked teams as we can during the season, and hopefully that gears us up for close matches.''

No. 1 singles player Leah Barnes leads the Cavaliers with a 25-0 record. Chelsea Himes is 23-2 at No. 2 singles, and Ava Vanhelfteren is 22-3 at No. 3 singles. Georgia Lee Williams and Jaclyn Soder are 7-14 at No. 1 doubles, and Eleanor McCandless and Meghana Parmidi are 17-4 at No. 2 doubles.

The Cavaliers have not played anyone with the quality of North Central, 19-2.

"We know they'll be tough, but we're kind of the situation where we have nothing to lose,'' Gerig said. "Nobody is expecting much from us. Now the shoe is on the other foot now and we can go out and play loose and give it our best and see what happens.''

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