Wawasee senior Kabrea Rostochak stretches out for a volley return during the No.1 doubles match. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Wawasee senior Kabrea Rostochak stretches out for a volley return during the No.1 doubles match. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
The goal of Warsaw’s girls tennis team, said veteran coach Rick Orban, is to go through the Northern Lakes Conference with a perfect record.

The Lady Tigers, who have advanced to the semistate the past two seasons, took another step toward their goal Thursday evening.

Winning in straight sets on each court, Warsaw beat conference and county rival Wawasee 5-0 and improved to 7-2 overall and 4-0 in the NLC. The Lady Warriors fell to 3-5 and 1-3.

“Their goal is to be undefeated during the regular season in the conference, and to win the conference tourney,” said Orban.

“We’re now 4-0 in the conference. We have NorthWood next, that’s at home, hopefully we win that, and then we’re at Concord. Concord, I think, is undefeated right now. That should be a good match, and then we end with Goshen on senior night.”

The Lady Tigers host NorthWood Tuesday, go to Concord Wednesday, and play their final NLC match on May 7 by hosting Goshen.

The conference tourney starts May 9.

The Lady Tigers opened NLC?play with a 3-2 win over Plymouth, and then beat Northridge and Elkhart Memorial by 5-0 scores.

Outside of a scoring dispute at No. 3 singles, Thursday’s win was pretty smooth.

Warsaw’s Alyssa Zellers beat Wawasee’s Kennedy Church 6-4, 6-3, and at the conclusion of the second set the two players and the head coach from each team had a lengthy discussion.

“The way it ended, my player disputed the actual score because she thought the turning of the scorecards were wrong with the very first game of the set,” said Wawasee coach Shane Staley.

“By that time it’s a moot point for us because she needed to address that at that point. Whether it was or not, I wasn’t there to see it, I don’t think their coach was either. It was no big argument on my part because she needed to call us out there at that very time. That’s just a learning lesson for her ... she’s young at No. 3 singles. I told her to learn from it, and the next time that happens we’ll do the right thing.”

At the top two singles spots, the Lady Tigers cruised to wins by seniors Liza Lewis and Ella Knight.

Lewis beat Wawasee junior Kendra Doerr 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, while Knight blanked sophomore Elizabeth Kleopfer 6-0, 6-0.

“Liza, Ella ... it was their usual,” said Orban. “They played solid, they played at their level, they didn’t come down a level.

“At No. 3 singles, Alyssa, she came down to her opponent’s level, so we had a long talk about that. You just can’t do that, you have to play your game, and her game is so much better than that. She struggled tonight with serves, forehands, backhands ... there wasn’t much she didn’t struggle with.

“But when you’re doing that, you can either mentally be defeated, or you can fight back and fight through it. I’m really happy that that’s what she did.”

In No. 1 doubles play, Warsaw’s Taylor Shoaf and Rachel Yeager beat Kabrea Rostochak and Courtney Larson 6-4, 6-3.

At No. 2 doubles, the Lady Tigers’ Reagan Merchant and Rachel Boyle defeated Kaitlin Graber and Molly Jones 6-1, 6-0.

“I’m very pleased with the doubles play,” said Orban. “We had a rough start at No. 1 doubles ... I think we were down 3-0 (in the first set). I talked to the girls and just told them what they were doing wrong. They corrected it, fought back, and they actually won that first set.

“They were up quite a bit in the second set, I think 5-0, and it’s just so easy sometimes to just let down and say ‘OK we have this one, and the opponents are gonna give up.’ And then the opponents have nothing to lose and play better. So, a little lesson there. These are all good things that I can work on with the team.

“No. 2 doubles tonight, Rachel Boyle and Reagan Merchant played really solid. I was real pleased with what I?saw.”

While his team was on the losing end, Staley was encouraged by improvement he saw over previous matches against Warsaw.

“I always look at the scores from the previous years, I always wanna see growth, and I?think our singles only won one total game last year on all three courts,” said Staley.

“To see that fight at No. 3 singles, and Kendra picking up a couple against a tough player like Liza (at No. 1 singles) ... they fought very well. Kendra is new, Kennedy is new to singles, and those were two encouraging courts. (Elizabeth) faced Ella at No. 3, and Ella is just tough. When Ella is on, I think she’s probably one of the tougher players in the conference. There’s a couple things we’re gonna work on for the conference. Sometimes you just run into players that are on their game, and they’re really good players.”

Wawasee hosts Manchester today, while Warsaw plays in the Delta Invitational Saturday.


Singles: No. 1 – Liza Lewis (War) def. Kendra Doerr 6-1, 6-1; No. 2 – Ella Knight (War) def. Elizabeth Kleopfer 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 – Alyssa Zellers (War) def. Kennedy Church 6-4, 6-3

Doubles: No. 1 – Taylor Shoaf & Rachel Yeager (War) def. Kabrea Rostochak & Courtney Larson 6-4, 6-3; No. 2 – Reagan Merchant & Rachel Boyle (War) def. Kaitlin Graber & Molly Jones 6-1, 6-0

Records: Warsaw 7-2 (4-0?NLC), Wawasee 3-5 (1-3 NLC)

JV – Warsaw 7, Wawasee 1

Singles: No. 1 – Libby Jenkins (War) def. Valerie Haessig 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 ­ – Maddie Ray (War) def. Sailor Davis York 8-2; No. 3 – Kat Josellis (War) def. Stephanie Ruiz 8-1; No. 4 – Sailor Davis York (Wawa) def. Gracie Lewis 8-3

Doubles: No. 1 – Amy Herendeen & Addison Marshall (War) def. Anah Sommers & Abby Morehead 6-0, 6-3; No. 2 – Izzie Ray & Anna Grill (War) def. Tate Cowan & Ava Harker 8-2; No. 3 – Annie Burnett & Katrielle Rodgers (War) def. Stephanie Ruiz & Casey Yankosky 6-2; No. 4 – Jaya Panicker & Abby Rucoi (War) def. Tate Cowan & Ava Harker 6-1