ALBION – There was a very young look to the other side of the net for Wawasee Tuesday afternoon at Central Noble. Fortunately, youthful exuberance didn’t equate into overachievement as the Warriors put away a very green Cougars boys tennis team, 5-0.
Central Noble, with just seven active players dressed and three of which have been in high school for just over a week, proved very little competition for Wawasee. The Cougars were able to win just eight games overall, four by three singles freshman Ethan Vanwagner in a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Cal Heinisch in the only match that lasted over an hour.
Wawasee senior Kyler Love wasted very little time beating freshman Masyn Krieger, love and one, in a match that took only 35 minutes to complete. Love maintained his volleys and returned service well in maybe the most efficient of the Wawasee wins Tuesday.
“He still has some room to improve in getting aggressive and getting to the net more, but he will volley with you all day long,” Wawasee head coach said of Love. “He just has to keep his opponents moving and keep hitting to the corners and hit the ball hard. Once he starts driving corners and moving, he does really well. The first couple games today he struggled with his serve. But once he got that down, he settled down and played really well.”
Winning in a complete sweep were the two doubles duo of Doug Hapner and Jake Hutchinson, sometimes toying with and sometimes waiting for action in a 6-0, 6-0 romp of Ed Campbell and Tanner Rose. The one doubles tandem of Dylan Houser and Chase Myers got past some early mistakes to overwhelm Austin Rose and Tom Hayes, 6-1, 6-0.
Completing the singles circuit was a love and two win from Todd Hauser over Caleb Harlan in what appeared to be the most competitive of the trio of singles courts in action. Harlan offered several volley opportunities and Hauser made the most of his chances, playing well in the frontcourt to put away several bunnies.
“Tonight was about playing hard all the way through, and not just to the potential of the opponent, and we didn’t do that the whole time,” Rhodes said. “We weren’t aggressive in places where we should have been and we can’t have that. We need to attack the ball and hit the ball to the corners. That took too long to do today.”
The weaker competition Central Noble showed Tuesday will change in a hurry as perennial Northern Lakes Conference power Plymouth will come to Wawasee for a rain redo Wednesday afternoon. Rhodes was 50-50 on whether Tuesday night’s performance would translate to what Plymouth will likely present.
“We are just going to have to refocus and gear up to a higher level,” Rhodes said in anticipation of Plymouth. “I told them tonight we have to work with our feet and be more aggressive with our shot selection. The girls team could have beaten them with how they looked in the first few games. They are just going to have to be much, much more aggressive tomorrow.”