WARSAW TENNIS SECTIONAL: TIGERS, WARRIORS PREVAIL IN SEMIS
StaceyPageOnline / Sports on Thursday, May 17, 2018
WARSAW – There were no surprises in the semifinals of the Warsaw Tennis Sectional Thursday evening.
There was also no wasted time by either Warsaw or Wawasee either.
The hosts and the Warriors each rolled to dominating wins to advance to face off in the championship match Friday.
Warsaw, which will be looking for its 18th straight sectional title, dropped a total of just two games in blanking Tippecanoe Valley 5-0.
Wawasee won four matches in straight sets in topping Columbia City 4-1.
Warsaw will face off with NLC and county rival Wawasee on Friday at 4:30 p.m. in the finale. The Tigers beat the Warriors 5-0 back on April 26.
The Warsaw Sectional winner advances to the Culver Academy Regional on Tuesday to play the winner of the Peru Sectional in one semifinal match. The other semifinal Tuesday will pit the Bremen Sectional champion versus the Culver Academy Sectional winner. The regional title match is Wednesday with the champ moving on to the Culver Academy Semistate on May 26.
Warsaw played like the heavy favorite again to start its postseason run Thursday. The Tigers, who have won regional titles the past two years, needed just about a half hour to win all three singles matches.
Warsaw, which did not play Valley during the regular season, got a pair of 6-0, 6-0 wins from Ella Knight and Alyssa Zellers in singles play.
Senior Knight topped Makayla Sandbakken 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 and sophomore Zellers topped Courtney Randall 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 play.
Senior Liza Lewis made it a sweep with a 6-0, 6-1 win on the No. 1 singles court over Lea Stouder.
The trio of Lewis, Knight and Zellers played the top three singles spots a year ago as Warsaw won the sectional and regional before losing to South Bend St. Joseph’s in the semistate for the second straight season.
The Tigers also got a 6-0, 6-0 win from its No. 2 doubles team of juniors Rachel Yeager and Reagan Merchant. The pair beat Morgan Gilbertson and Kaleigh Shucker.
Warsaw completed the shutout as sophomore Taylor Shoaf and junior Rachel Boyle won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles over the team of Tiphanie Hodge and Makenna Bradley.
Wawasee also boasted a singles sweep to beat the Eagles for the second time this season. The Warriors were coming off a 5-0 win over Whitko on Wednesday in a first-round sectional matchup.
Junior Kendra Doerr posted a 6-3, 6-0 win over Olivia Campbell at No. 1 singles to lead the way for the Warriors, who beat Columbia City 4-1 in April at the Wawasee Invitational.
Sophomore Elizabeth Kleopfer defeated Grace Cotter 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2 singles play and sophomore Kennedy Church completed the sweep with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Lydia Morgan at No. 3.
The Warriors also took the No. 2 doubles match as the team of senior Brianna Haessig and sophomore Molly Jones beat Isabelle Kreienbrink and Hailey Cearbaugh 6-4, 6-2.
City gained its point as No. 1 doubles as Jayma Acres and Hannah Behm defeated seniors Kabrea Rostochak and Courtney Larson 7-5, 6-2.
Warsaw won all three singles matches in straight sets versus Wawasee in their first meeting. Lewis topped Doerr 6-1, 6-1, while Knight defeated Kleopfer 6-0, 6-0 and Zellers stopped Church 6-3, 6-3. The Tigers won at No. 1 doubles that night as Shoaf and Yeager defeated Rostochak and Larson 6-3, 6-3 and at No. 2 doubles as Boyle and Merchant bested Jones and Graber 6-3, 6-3.
Coach Rick Orban’s Warsaw team will take a 12-3 mark into Friday’s finale, while coach Shane Staley’s Warriors sit at 8-10.
Warsaw has accumulated a total of 27 sectional titles in program history. Wawasee has won a pair of sectional championships in program history, those coming in 1998 and 2000.