Wawasee Tennis

Lady Warrior Tennis: Week In Review

At the end of last week’s final practice, Coach Staley told his team that the coming week would be one of the toughest of the year.  With NLC top contenders Northridge and Warsaw and the top-ranked team in the TRC (Manchester) all facing off against Wawasee in the same week, the 7 days certainly lived up to its hardship.

On Tuesday, Northridge visited Wawasee, beating them 4-1.  #1 doubles Charity Parker and Kabrea Rostochak extended their NLC winning streak to 3 for the sole varsity win.  The JV narrowly missed getting a victory, but lost 4-5.  Brianna Haessig was the only singles winner and doubles wins were secured by #1 Courtney Larson and Kendra Doerr, #3 doubles Riley Kunkle and Diki Gomez, and #4 doubles Ashlie Hemphill and Lesley Tayagua.

Thursday night featured the culmination of a trying week for an inexperienced Wawasee team, facing off against Warsaw. By the end of the night, the Lady Warriors varsity team fell 0-5, and only 1 court saw a victory with the doubles team of Riley Kunkle and Diki Gomez winning 6-3. The one bright spot on varsity was #2 doubles Courtney Larson and Kendra Doerr who pushed Warsaw to a third set.

“Sometimes the scores don’t tell the whole story,” Wawasee’s head coach Shane Staley said after the match.  “There were many games at deuce, but we just couldn’t win those key points, which is where our inexperience shows.”

So what can a coach say to a team when you’re dominated on most every court? “Welcome to NLC tennis,” Coach Staley joked.  “This is an eye-opener for freshmen and other new players this year which make up more than half our team.  If you don’t want to feel this way, there’s only one solution: get out and work harder, especially in the offseason.  Warsaw is a great team, they’re still young, but these girls are veterans of the court and have been playing since they were much younger,” Staley commented. “Most of them have stellar work ethics, growing up in a great tennis culture.  We’re just beginning the create a better culture and program at Wawasee, so these are the lumps we’ll have to take in the meantime.”

The tough week continued into Friday’s match at Manchester when #1 singles Jazlyn Gehlhausen was out sick, causing Coach Staley to shift his lineup to play against higher seeds.  “Anytime you have your number one out of the lineup, it’s going to be a rough night,” he said.  “Jazlyn’s always up top playing the best of the best and fighting hard for us.”

Wawasee didn’t go down without a fight.  Senior Madison Cooper stepped up to join Charity Parker at #1 doubles as Staley moved Kabrea Rostochak up into singles play to fill in for the absence of Gehlhausen.  Cooper and Parker pulled off a straight set victory 7-6, 7-6 for the only varsity win.  But the new #2 doubles team of sophomore Courtney Larson and freshman Kendra Doerr continued to show growth and promise, fighting two sets in a close match, but finally losing a second set in a tie-breaker.

“Our doubles team are showing huge improvements, are playing competitively most every match,” Staley commented, “Our singles are gaining much needed match-play. Rookstool and Heinisch are just freshmen this year, so these types of matches are building their experience and mental toughness.  They’ll continue to get better, figure out how to win, and contribute greatly in years to come.”

In JV action at Manchester, #3 singles Charanyapak Supanavanichakul (“Aom”) won in dominant fashion 8-1 and an impressive performance was had by the #5 doubles team of Brittney Jackson and Janae Hapner who won 8-5.

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