Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union

Triton sophomore Maddie Ritchison follows through with a backhand return during the No. 2 singles match Tuesday evening against Whitko in South Whitley.
Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union Triton sophomore Maddie Ritchison follows through with a backhand return during the No. 2 singles match Tuesday evening against Whitko in South Whitley.
SOUTH WHITLEY – Whitko won at the top two singles positions, but visiting Triton won at No. 3 singles and rolled to a pair of quick wins in doubles play to take a 3-2 non-conference girls tennis win Tuesday.

Wildcat senior Kayla Schipper won a second-set tiebreaker to close out Trojan sophomore Molly McFarland 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) at No. 1 singles. Schipper’s classmate, Mahkinsey Myers, won a pair of competitive sets over Triton sophomore Maddie Ritchison 6-3, 6-4.

Triton’s Ivy Powell won at No. 3 singles 6-2, 6-3 over Katherine Ousley. The Trojans No. 1 doubles team of Lexia Hostrawser and Emma Hepler won in 12 straight games over Jaycie Thomas and Kylie Fugett, and the No. 2 combo of Haley Hooley and Madison Davis won 6-1, 6-1 over Bailey Wright and Francesca Taddei.

Both coaches spoke of the youth of their teams, and the ability to fight through adversity.

“We’re basically a sophomore team, and we’re showing signs of big improvement,” said Triton coach Allen Peckham. “I think the more we play, the better the results will be.

“Tonight, Whitko’s one and two singles got off to a hot start, and our girls got down early. Molly fought back after trailing 4-1 in her first set, and Maddie was down 5-0 in her first set and won three in a row, which gave her some momentum for the second set.

“After that, we did really well.”

Whitko coach Calvin Sellers said “(Powell) had a bit of struggle tonight. She was down 0-5 in the second set but battled back to win three straight games. That was good to see, but she ultimately couldn’t pull through.

“Our doubles teams were just outmatched. If our opponents have a little more consistency, it allows them to pick apart some of the weaknesses we have. We tried to adapt and cover up, and they did a good job, but wasn’t able to compete at that level tonight. I expect that will change at some point soon.”

The Wildcat coach said he’d like his team to get off to better starts in their matches.

“I think we need to come out a little bit more aggressive, and be consistent on second serves, things like that. ‘Coming out the gate swinging’ is definitely the mindset we need. We need to say, ‘We’re coming out here, bringing our ‘A’ game, and take charge from the very beginning.

 “It’s good that they can make a comeback and win; it shows they’re able to adapt to their opponent, which is a better strategy. But it would be better to take a nice early lead and never look back.”

Triton will take on Hoosier North Athletic Conference opponent LaVille in Lakeville today. Whitko will remain at home to face Rochester in Three Rivers Conference play today.