DUNLAP – Just two upsets highlighted the opening round of the Northern Lakes Conference Girls Tennis Championships Wednesday afternoon at Concord.
All of the top seeds advanced in each of the five court brackets with the exception of a pair of singles upsets.
Both upsets were seeded Wawasee players, which saw its three seed Elizabeth Kleopfer lose to Goshen’s Madi Rittenhouse 6-4, 6-2 at No. 3 singles, and its four seed Peyton Rookstool fall to Northridge’s Brynne Gayler 7-6 (7-0), 6-2 at No. 2 singles. Otherwise, all of the expected seeded players moved onto the semi-finals.
NorthWood had four of its five courts advance to the right side of the bracket, which guarantees a top-four spot in the winner’s grouping. All three of its singles courts earned wins, led by Reegan Miller’s 6-0, 6-0 run past Wawasee’s Kendra Doerr and Alex Jesse’s 6-3, 6-0 win against Warsaw’s Taylor Shoaf. Gretchen Adams later made it 3-for-3 for Panther singles with a 7-5, 6-2 victory against Rachel Boyle, a match where Boyle had led 4-1 in the first set before Adams made a late rally to claim the first set, then turn it on in the second set.
NorthWood’s Caroline Mullet and Kate Stillson looked poised to post a win in the first set against Northridge in the two doubles bracket, but fell on the wrong side of a 7-5 setback. In the second set, Wood rallied for a 6-4 getback, then with a line judge called in to keep it copacetic, Wood finished it off, 6-3.
Plymouth would knock the Wood one doubles out of the running with a 6-1, 6-3 final.
Warsaw’s one and two doubles teams both made quick work of Wawasee opponents to advance. Rachel Yeager and Raegan Merchant didn’t need long to post a 6-1, 6-2 win against Molly Jones and Kaitlin Graber, and a little later, Maddie Ray and Amy Herendeen blanked Tate Cowan and Abby Morehead.
While taking a loss, Alyssa Zellers showed tremendous promise in her No. 1 singles showdown with overall top seed Regan Landis of Concord. Zellers broke Landis’ serve to tie the first set 4-4, only to let Landis back in and squeak out a 6-4 first set. Despite some heady play in the second set, Zellers couldn’t string together enough of a run as Landis got tougher in a 6-2 capper.
Other top seeds to move on were Concord’s Meaghan Godzisz, a 6-1, 6-0 winner over Memorial’s Callan Kubiak at No. 2; Plymouth’s Aubrey Vervynckt, a 6-1, 6-2 winner over Concord’s Lauren Boessler at No. 3; and Concord’s Keegan Thursby and Lauren Pollock, a 6-2. 6-3 winner over Northridge at No. 1 doubles.
Action picks up again Thursday at 4:30 at Concord with back draw matches and championship semi-finals. Play will then shift to Plymouth Friday afternoon for final rounds.