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SYRACUSE – It was another frustrating night on the courts for the Wawasee tennis team on Thursday.
The Warriors matched up well with a visiting Manchester team but the Squires did enough things right to hand Wawasee a 4-1 defeat. The loss was the third consecutive for the Warriors.
“Talent wise, we matched right up with them (Manchester),” said Warrior head coach Chris Winters. “We just, well, we’re a young team. We’re still very green. We have girls that are still new to the sport and we are still working on doing the little things right.”
Doing the little things right will come in time for this youthful Wawasee squad. One thing helping the young roster is its role model upperclassman, senior Katy Ashpole.
Ashpole provides a leadership role for the maturing Wawasee squad and showed on Thursday night that doing the little things right and staying focused can pay big dividends on the court.
Manchester’s Katie Peden put Ashpole in an early hole, winning the first set 6-4. Ashpole was determined to take the second set, but found herself in tough spot down 3-4. The senior did not give in to her opponent and showed why she has the respect of her teammates by wining the final two sets over Pedan 7-5, 6-1 to claim her second victory of the season. Winters was ecstatic for her No. 1 singles player.
“She is the salutatorian of her class,” Winters said of Ashpole. “I reminded her of that at the changeover when she was down 3-4. I reminded her that she knows how to get things done, that when she puts her mind to something, she can get it done and that she is successful.
“She went back out there, did what she needed to do and got the win. She just needed to get her head back in the game.”
Ashpole’s win on the No. 1 singles court was the lone victory for Wawasee on the day, Manchester just made a habit of making plays at critical points throughout the match to topple the Warriors.
Allison Smith picked up the win on the No. 2 singles court for the Squires 6-2, 6-2 over Jada Antonides. Claire Barnett kept a good rhythm going on the No. 3 singles court to defeat Wawasee’s Jaclyn Miller 6-1, 6-1.
On the doubles court Wawasee struggled to find consistency with several newer players still getting their feet wet. First-year players Aubrey Schmeltz and Erin Wiktorowski showed promise in the first set against Manchester’s Hayleigh Collett and Karly Eichenauer on the No. 1 doubles court, but ultimately the Squires top doubles tandem would claim a 6-3, 6-0 win.
Manchester’s No. 2 doubles team, Michaela Pattison and Morgan McKee, separated itself from Wawasee’s Natalie Fritz and Jazlyn Gehlhausen after a tough first set to get a 7-5, 6-1 win for the Squires.
Wawasee (1-3) will look to shake off the weight of Thursday’s loss and get things back on track as the Warriors will host Westview in a makeup match on Friday night with play slated to start at 4:30 p.m. in Syracuse.
Manchester’s junior varsity team handed Wawasee its second consecutive loss with a 4-1 victory. JV No. singles player Chelsea Carolus was the lone Warriros to taste victory, winning 8-5 over Leiah Brandenburg. The JV Warriors are now 2-2 on the season.