Having trailed 5-1 in the second set, Love rallied to win the next five games then outlasted West Noble’s Tyler Rothhaar 7-5 in the tiebreaker to break the team’s 2-2 tie, giving the Warriors a 3-2 win over the Chargers Thursday afternoon.
Love won the first set 6-1 despite Rothhaar setting the pace for much of the set. The second set had all the makings of a flipped score as Rothhaar quickly jumped out to the 5-1 lead. Love, however, maintained his strategy of moving Rothhaar around and broke the Charger junior’s serve at 5-4.
Taking the next two games, Love held serve for the win, but a pair of service errors helped Rothhaar force a tiebreaker.
Tied 5-5, Love dug down and held on, and the fist pump showed a sign of life for a team that really needed it.
“That first set I kept hitting the ball deep, and got away from it in the second set and left it short, which didn’t work,” Love said. “So I started hitting the ball deep again and it started working again. I just wanted to focus on each point and stay ahead in that tiebreaker.”
Taking the court for the first time since losing to a Central Noble team on Tuesday Wawasee firmly felt it could beat, the West Noble match became paramount to right the ship with the heavy portion of the Northern Lakes Conference slate on the horizon.
“After that match Tuesday, it was a low point of this season,” started Wawasee head coach Roger Brady. “The guys didn’t think we could win another match. We have a better team than Central Noble, a better team than Lakeland, but we found ways to lose. So, yes, tonight is very gratifying in the sense because we had kids really step up tonight for us.”
West Noble actually led the team score 2-1 after an hour of play. Wawasee’s one doubles team of Isaac Rigdon and Dylan Houser were first off the court, having no problems taking care of Ryan Kendall and Grant Moser two and love.
West Noble answered with wins at two doubles, where the tandem of Josh Gaff and Beck Gaff won by a similar love and two score over Doug Hapner and Roz Kunkle. The two singles match was a grudge match of consistency, and Quinn Groff had move than Todd Hauser.
The three singles court was a model of consistency from Chase Myers. The first-year player from Wawasee barely moved eight feet left to right the entire match against Jared Swank, but was smooth in a 6-3, 6-4 result to tie the score at two-all.
“It’s deceptive when you are 6’4″, you can make movement look easy. But he is still learning the game,” Brady said of Myers’ game, which was the first singles victory of Myers’ career. “This was great for team morale. Really super to get the first win.”
Jacob Musselman and Kolten Peterson were winners in JV singles play, with Musselman scoring 8-1 and Peterson 6-1 court wins over Wawasee’s Leonard Kline.