WARSAW – The Warsaw girls tennis team heads into postseason play in a very familiar role once again.
The host Tigers will be the favorites once again in a bid for the program’s 16th straight sectional championship this week.
Area sectional play opens Wednesday and while Warsaw got a favorable draw, Triton will face a tough task in the Bremen Sectional.
The pairings for sectional action were held tonight at the host schools.
The Tigers will face Whitko Thursday in a semifinal of their own five-team sectional. The Warsaw Sectional opens Wednesday with Wawasee taking on Columbia City. The winner of that match will face Tippecanoe Valley in the other semifinal on Thursday. The title match is set for Friday. All three days of tourney play are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. at WCHS.
Warsaw sits at 8-5 this Spring with an-underclassmen dominated lineup. Coach Rick Orban’s team went 5-2 in Northern Lakes Conference play and finished third in the league tournament which concluded on Friday.
The Tigers beat Wawasee and Columbia City each 5-0 during the regular season, but did not play either Whitko or Tippecanoe Valley.
Warsaw boasts an all-sophomore singles lineup with Liza Lewis at No. 1, Colette Smith at No. 2 and Ella Knight at No. 3. Both Smith and Knight won individual titles in the NLC Tournament.
The Tigers, who lost 4-1 to Plymouth in the regional semifinals in 2015, have sophomore Hannah Rice and junior Athena Schlitt at No. 1 doubles and senior Rosie Fleming and sophomore Grace Miller at No. 2 doubles.
Wawasee will take a young lineup into the sectional. The Warriors had just a pair of seniors, Jazlyn Gelhausen (No. 1 singles) and Charity Parker (No. 1 doubles) in their NLC Tourney lineup to go with a trio of freshmen and a pair of sophomores.
The winner of the Warsaw Sectional will face the winner of the Peru Sectional in a semifinal matchup of the Culver Academies Regional on May 24.
Trojans Face Big Challenge
Triton will need to beat a pair of strong teams in order to continue its outstanding season.
The Trojans, who improved to 13-1 with a 5-0 win over South Bend Riley Monday night, drew the bye in the five-team Bremen Sectional.
That’s the good news for coach Al Peckham’s squad. The bad news is that the Trojans will likely face Bremen, who they lost to 3-2 back on May 5, in a semifinal matchup on Thursday. The host Lions, who won the sectional crown two years ago, play LaVille in the sectional opener on Wednesday. Plymouth, which has won 14 of the last 15 sectional championships and is fresh off winning the NLC Tournament last week, faces Glenn in the other semifinal on Thursday. The title match is Friday. All three days of sectional play are slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Frank DeSantis Courts at Sunnyside Park in Bremen.
Triton, whose last sectional title came in 2004, won the HNAC regular season title at 6-0 and also won the HNAC Tournament championship at all five positions.
Shayla May, the lone senior in the lineup, leads the Trojans at No. 1 singles. May is 12-1 on the season.
Sophomore Kolbie Mason is 13-3 at No. 2 singles and junior Quinn Downing is 13-3 at No. 2 singles for Triton. The No. 1 doubles team of sophomores Emma Ross and Hannah Wanemacher are 15-1. The duo of sophomores Megan McFarland and Tatum Thompson are 13-3 at No. 2 doubles.
The Bremen Sectional winner will face the Culver Academies Sectional winner in a regional semifinal at Culver Academies on May 24. Plymouth is the defending regional champion at Culver Academies.