Weather didn’t postpone the entire opening round the Northern Lakes Conference Championships for girls tennis, but did force a few girls to wait until today to compete.
Moving the tournament from Warsaw Community High School indoors at the Warsaw Tennis & Fitness Club, only four matches were able to played at a time, forcing some to take place today.
Unable to get on the court Wednesday were two No. 1 singles matches, as well as two No. 2 doubles matches.
Locally, Warsaw senior Anna Hall and junior Camille Kerlin had their No. 1 doubles match against second-seeded Courtney Clark and Emily Erekson of Northridge moved to today. Wawasee senior Katy Ashpole also had to move her match back a day against second-seeded Goshen senior Miranda Kay at No. 1 singles.
Matches started at 4 p.m. and ended at 9:30 p.m., leaving a lot of players sitting around, but that had to be expected given the four available courts.
“This is a bizarre circumstance,” Warsaw head coach Rick Orban said. “I can’t remember where we’ve looked at three days in a row of rain. We tell them that we’ve got four courts and it’s going to take a while to get through it. You have 20 matches in each round, so someone’s gotta sit and someone’s gotta play.”
Play is scheduled to be back at the Tennis & Fitness Club today, but if weather does allow, the rest of the first round, as well as the second round, will take place at WCHS.
Outside of the change in venue, there wasn’t too much that surprised Orban in the first round.
At No. 2 singles, third-seeded Waraw senior Sarah Boyle won 6-2, 6-0 over Wawasee junior Jada Antonides and second-seeded senior Rachel Alexander of Warsaw moved into the No. 3 singles semifinals with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over NorthWood senior Megan Reed.
“At 2 singles, Sarah was a seeded player and she played a very strong, smart match,” he said. “Rachel was seeded (at No. 3 singles) and she played an incredibly good first set, then got a little nervous in the second, but calmed down.”
At No. 1 singles, Warsaw senior Jacqueline Sasso ran into a buzz-saw, as third-seeded Jenna Landis of Concord took her down 6-0, 6-0.
“Jacqueline actually played pretty well tonight,” Orban said. “Her strokes were there and she was painting the lines, but (Landis) was on fire. She didn’t miss.”
Warsaw’s last match to take place was at No. 2 doubles, where senior Abbi Baum and Athena Schlitt won the opening set 6-4 against the No. 2 seed of Plymouth junior Libbie Portteuss and freshman Lanae Singleton, but then fell 6-4 in the second and 10-8 in the 10-point super tiebreaker.
The tiebreaker was played in place of a third set due to time constraints.
“They dominated the first set, then played some loose points in the second and a 10-point tiebreak is tough,” Orban said. “If you make a couple errors, all of a sudden it’s over.”
Along with the 10-point super tiebreaker being implemented in the first round, the back side matches will use an 8-game pro set to determine matches.
For Wawasee, its four matches all ended with losses, as head coach Chris Winters has been forced to patch together a squad this season.
Outside of Ashpole and Antonides, Winters has had an ever-changing lineup.
On the doubles courts, Winters has lost freshman Aubrey Schmeltz and junior Molly Smith to labrum injuries, coupled with the departure of a girl who quit and another that was deemed ineligible. Also, the team was without the services of sophomore Erin Wiktorowski due to an injury for part of the season, before her return at Saturday’s Angola Invitational.
“I’ve lost so many varsity girls, that I’ve got girls that have never played varsity before,” she said.
“I have two girls that have played on the varsity the entire season,” she added.
On the four courts that played, Wawasee failed to win a set and won just five games.
After going through the NLC regular season with an 0-7 mark, Winters is using the tournament as a way to keep improving.
“We’re looking at playing points well, playing games well and if we can get some sets, then great,” she said. “I’ve really just looked at the girls and tried to focus on doing the simple things well.”
Winters may be looking for improvements as sectional play begins next week, but Orban believes he has a shot at an individual championship at Nos. 2 and 3 singles.
“Sarah and Rachel, all season long, have played well at their respective positions,” he said. “I think they have a good shot at it.”

NORTHERN LAKES CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
(First Round, Seeds in Parentheses)
No. 1 Singles
(1) Krystal Grubb (Elkhart Memorial)/Emily Hughes (Northridge), DNP; (2) Miranda Kay (Goshen)/Katy Ashpole (Wawasee), DNP; (3) Jenna Landis (Concord) def. Jacqueline Sasso (Warsaw) 6-0, 6-0; (4) Sydney Wysong (NorthWood) def. Erin Hunter (Plymouth) 6-3, 6-1.
No. 2 Singles
(1) Kylie Fraughiger (Northridge) def. Kristin Riise (Plymouth) 6-0, 6-4; (2) Corinn Whittaker (Elkhart Memorial) def. Megan Reed (NorthWood) 6-0, 6-0; (3) Sarah Boyle (Warsaw) def. Jada Antonides (Wawasee) 6-2, 6-0; (4) Kathleen Morrical (Goshen) def. Alexa Klopfenstein (Concord) 6-4, 6-0.
No. 3 Singles
(1) Jessica Stillson (Plymouth) def. Chelsea Carolus (Wawasee) 6-0, 6-1; (2) Rachel Alexander (Warsaw) def. Hannah Walter (NorthWood) 6-2, 6-4; Holly Angel (Concord) def. (3) Taylor Freedline (Elkhart Memorial) 6-3, 6-3; Taylor Sellers (Northridge) def. (4) Sarah Rush (Goshen) 6-0, 6-4.
No. 1 Doubles
(1) Taelor Grose/Haley Stouder (Elkhart Memorial)/Kayci Troyer/Amy Harris (Goshen), DNP; (2) Courtney Clark/Emily Erekson (Northridge)/Anna Hall/Camille Kerlin (Warsaw), DNP; (3) Kennedy Walter/Tori Schwartz (NorthWood) def. Addison Ayres/Erin Wiktorowski (Wawasee) 6-0, 6-2; (4) Savannah Mae/Ellen Smith (Plymouth) def. Shannon Purcell/Mandy Meserve (Concord) 2-6, 6-4, (11-9).
No. 2 Doubles
(1) Alexis Graber/Mackenzie Martin (Northridge) def. Mady Robinson/Maggie Dickerson (Elkhart Memorial) 6-3, 6-0; (2) Libbie Portteuss/Lanae Singleton (Plymouth) def. Abbi Baum/Athena Schlitt (Warsaw) 2-6, 6-4, (10-6); (3) Michael Searer/Alana Brubaker (Concord) def. Jaclyn Miller/Jazlyn Gehlhausen (Wawasee) 6-0, 6-0; (4) Madison Sheline/Alaina Donegan (NorthWood) def. Kayleigh Crowder/Courtney Dobrzykowski 6-2, 6-1.