The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


May 14, 2013

Pats sweep WRC finals

VEEDERSBURG, Ind. —  In order to reach the finals of the Wabash River Conference singles tournament, Miranda Synesael of Seeger had to play one of her best friends in Mackensey Sorrell of Covington.

The two had faced each other as far back as when Sorrell was in seventh grade and Synesael was in eighth. They had played doubles together as recently as this past summer.

“It was hard to play her. I had to put our friendship aside when I went out there,” said Synesael of the match. “I wanted to win, but it’s hard to play a friend.”

Sorrell agreed and said it was different having to play her, as the two never faced each other in the regular season because Synesael played one-singles for the Patriots while Sorrell played two-singles.

“I just went out and tried to play the way I always play,” said Sorrell. “I knew I had to be as aggressive as possible.”

Synesael, the number one seed in the tournament, defeated Sorrell and then had to go on to face Hannah Smith of Turkey Run, a player who had pushed her to three sets in the regular season.

“I try to get off to a fast start,” said Synesael. “I try hard to win the first three games and then just play my usual tennis.”

It worked as the Patriot junior won 6-1, 6-0 to take the title, but that is only a start if she has her wish.

“We want to win the sectional and get to play in the regional,” she said. “We’ve faced all these [sectional] teams and won, but you can’t let down. You have to play the best you can, because it’s hard to come back if you have a slow start.”

On the doubles side, her teammates Bridget McGowen and Emmie Stevens teamed up to defeat Abby Moore and Clare McGrady of Fountain Central 6-2, 7-6 (2).

The Patriot duo is a solid doubles team that is at their best when Stevens is at the net and McGowen roams the baseline.

Both players say they like to play position, rather than power tennis, although each showed power at times.

“If you only use power, they can sometimes hit it back,” said Stevens. “But if you put the ball in the right place, it’s hard for them to return it.”

The twosome was the number one seed in the tournament and lived up to that billing. Asked if being ranked number one was a blessing or a curse, McGowen said it was to their advantage.

“It gives you confidence when you go out, knowing you supposed to win,” she explained, “but if we struggle, we talk to each other and pick each other up.”

They had to do that in the second set. Up a set, 5-4 in the second and 40-0 in game ten, the opposing team of Moore and McGrady suddenly caught fire.

The Mustang pair fought off five match points and won two straight games. McGowen and Synesael won the next to send the set into a tiebreaker that the Patriots won 7-2.

“We didn’t want to go three sets,” said Stevens about turning things around in the tiebreaker. “We didn’t change anything except that we kept telling each other that we were seniors and we intended to win.”

Fountain Central coach David Kight spoke about his doubles team of Moore and McGrady, saying he was really proud of their effort, especially late in that second set.

“Think about it, they’re only freshmen,” he said. “They’ve got some things to learn and work on, but I couldn’t ask for more than what they did at the end of the match.”

Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at

Text Only
  • SPT- CN0725 - Dustbowl photo 2 Stars advance to boys final DANVILLE — The 42nd Annual Dustbowl action continued Thursday at David S. Palmer Arena with the High School Boys basketball division in full swing as four games were played and all eight teams participated. In game one of the winner’s bracket of sem

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0725 - Atwood photo Baseball community to honor Atwood DANVILLE — Whether it was working on the field or running a tournament, there wasn’t anything that Frank Atwood wouldn’t do for the game of baseball.His love for the game created numerous opportunities for the youth of the Danville area as Atwood ser

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dans get a split of doubleheader with Cavemen HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Danville Dans won the first game of a doubleheader with the Hannibal Cavemen 3-1 on Thursday before losing the second game 5-3 to get a split.In the first game, Corbin Olmstead pitched seven innings with eight strikeouts to get th

    July 25, 2014

  • Danville Post 210 Speakers fall to Rantoul CHARLESTON — Playing five games in five days finally took its toll on the Danville Post 210 Speakers.Rantoul’s Tanner McLain delivered a game-winning, two-out single to left to give his team a 6-5 victory over Danville in an elimination game of the F

    July 24, 2014

  • Juniors continue to play at Danville Tennis Open DANVILLE — The juniors were still on the court in the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Wednesday as three division titles were given out.Rachael Lewis won the girls 18 and under singles title with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lauren Ellis, while the team of Er

    July 24, 2014

  • SPT- CN0723- Dans photo 2 Thurston gets first win DANVILLE — Getting those Ws is the goal of every pitcher.Danville’s Chase Thurston has been seeking his first collegiate victory all year. The former Danville High standout finally got it on Tuesday night when the Danville Dans defeated the Springfie

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0723 - Dustbowl photo 1 Shooting Stars sprint past MB Squad DANVILLE —Tuesday’s action from the Dustbowl at the David S. Palmer Arena featured two games in the Girls High School Division with two local teams — MB Squad and Shooting Stars — squaring off in round-robin play to advance to Sunday’s championship.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pitching boosts Speakers CHARLESTON — The Danville Post 210 Speakers’ pitching is coming along at the right time.With strong performances from Austin Millholland and Dalton Strawser, the Speakers defeated Piatt County 5-1 to move on in the Fourth Division Tournament.“The sto

    July 23, 2014

  • SPT - CN0722 - Post 210 Baseball photo 1 Speakers stay alive TILTON — Danville Post 210 baseball got their revenge Sunday afternoon and did it in style. After losing to Shelby County in the Fourth Division Tournament opener on Saturday, Danville had to win two games on Sunday if they wanted to advance and keep

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0722 - VCS photo Youth gets served at VCS Fan Appreciation Night OAKWOOD — The Vermilion County Speedway Fan Appreciation Night was more a spotlight for the youth on and off the track.While kids in the stands had bike races and decided the order for racers in certain feature races, there was a bunch of kids going

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014

Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here:

Must Read
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot