Wawasee Tennis

Persistence Pays Off For Warriors

SYRACUSE – It took almost three hours for talking points to be formalized Tuesday night between Wawasee and Whitko in boys tennis action. A 5-0 final score in favor of the Warriors over the Wildcats provided plenty to discuss for both sides.

“Tonight was another night where we did a lot of things well, but fell into old habits and played scared again,” said Wawasee head coach Vince Rhodes. “They just need to stay focused, stay on that train and keep rolling. Once you are winning, you just have to keep putting it to them.”

Wawasee really had to work to beat Whitko despite the lopsided score on the paper. The most notable court was the two singles matchup between Warrior Nathan Perek and Wildcat Bailey Platt. The match looked to be well in hand for Platt, who won the first set 6-1 and had a 4-3 lead with the serve in the second set. Perek, however, rallied for the next three games to seize a 6-4 second set, then held a 5-2 advantage in the third set before Platt rallied to tie the set at 5-5.

Unforced errors on Platt’s part, which plagued him all evening, allowed Perek to steal points and an eventual 7-5 win to close out the night in a match that lasted almost two hours and fifty minutes.

“Bailey played a great match today,” Whitko head coach Chris McGehee stated. “He really fought. It was just a few points here or there making some bad decisions on some shots. A point here or there and he comes away with that.”

Whitko’s two doubles team of Nick Rose and Jared Arnold were also on their way to a win before Wawasee swayed just enough momentum to take the court. The Warrior pairing of Brayton Fretz and Tim Conley, playing together for the first time this season, took the first set 6-3 but Rose and Arnold claimed a 6-3 win in the second set. The Whitko duo looked like they were gaining momentum in the third set tied 4-4, but Fretz’s clever returns and Conley’s poise on the back line gave Wawasee a 6-4 final set.

The remaining three courts were all Wawasee on the scoreboard, and were much more swift on the watch.

Cal Heinisch didn’t use much flash in beating Cole Bechtold 6-0, 6-1 on the one singles grid. Heinisch didn’t react too much to Bechtold’s big serves, just staying within himself and picking up a solid win.

Nate Haines also kept a calm demeanor in a 6-0, 6-1 win at three singles against Alex Bechtold in a match that didn’t reflect the lopsided score. Haines won a good portion of his points on Bechtold double faults and return errors, but also showed solid form on returns of the second serve.

The one doubles court might have had the most unbalanced match of the night as Jake Hutchinson and Todd Hauser had little trouble in beating Alex Robbins and Austin Nettrouer 6-0, 6-1, a match that lasted less than 45 minutes.

“Confidence levels and hitting the ball hard, that is what it will all boil down to,” said Rhodes, whose club is now 3-3 this season but enters the meat of the Northern Lakes Conference schedule beginning Thursday at Concord. “That’s what we saw against Plymouth and what the NLC will bring every night.”

Whitko, which dropped to 1-4 overall, will regroup for a roadie at Fort Wayne Northrop Wednesday and again Thursday at Triton.

“We’ve got seven kids and really are just beginning our year with the weather issues we’ve had,” McGehee said. “I think some of our younger guys like Bailey made a nice step tonight. To get a singles match that went three sets is a big positive for us. To get the leadership from Cole only helps us. We’re still trying to build the consistency in our program.”


Article Courtesy of Stacey Page Online & The Papers

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