Westview girls tennis coach John Zehr didn’t know exactly what kind of squad he had prior to the start of the 2014 campaign.
“I felt we could be a good team, but not sure how good,” said the veteran skipper following Saturday’s sectional championship match against old rival East Noble, a contest won by the Lady Warriors, 3-2. “These girls have played very consistently and given 100 percent in each of their matches. They might not always win their position, but they give it their all.”
The effort the Westview players gave Saturday was enough to win the program’s 12th overall sectional championship and second in three years. It also landed the 10-3 Lady Warriors a spot in the Elkhart Central regional slated to begin Tuesday. Their opponent will be NECC rival Angola, a squad they tied for second place in the NECC tournament held earlier this month.
“Playing as well as we did at the NECC tournament really boosted our confidence going into the sectional,” stated Zehr. “Hopefully that will carry over into the regional, which is one of the toughest around with (unbeaten) Elkhart Memorial and (NECC champion) Fairfield also in the field. We’ll go over there and see if we can get them (Angola).”
A couple of tie-break victories in the first set of two matches in Saturday’s finale keyed the Lady Warrior triumph. No. 2 singles player Miranda Kresse outpointed East Noble foe Anna Papnik, 7-2 in their tie-breaker to win the opening set, 7-6. Kresse then rolled to a 6-1 win in the second set to secure her match and the team crown.
“Miranda’s win in the tie-break really was the key to us winning the match,” Zehr said. “She handled the pressure really well.”
Westview’s No. 1 doubles team of Katelyn Miller and Chanda Strong found themselves in a 6-all tie in the first set of their bout against Haley Schroeder and Megan Ludwig. The Lady Warrior duo took the tie-breaker, 7-3 then won the second set by a count of 6-3.
The third Westview point was produced by its No. 2 doubles pair of Tessa Zimmerly and Megan Steider, who rolled to a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Megan Goldsmith and Amanda Sayles.
“’The doubles teams have been the strong point of our team all year,” observed Zehr. “Tessa (Zimmerly) and Megan (Steider) have made tremendous improvement since last year.”
Westview defeated Central Noble and East Noble downed Lakeland in the semifinals by identical 4-1 scores.
Central Noble 1
Charlotte Jones (WV) def. Emily Maneke, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
Miranda Kresse (WV) def. Erin Maneke, 6-3, 6-0
Savannah Rang (WV) def. Nyla Merriman, 6-2, 6-1
Cassidy Klemp-Tricia VanGessel (CN) def. Katelyn Miller-Chanda Strong, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
Tessa Zimmerly-Megan Steider (WV) def. Madaline Fair-Katie Hatch, 6-0, 6-0
East Noble 4
Chelsea Ort (EN) def. Carlee Richardson, 6-2, 6-3
Anna Papnik (EN) def. Audrey Stephens, 6-0, 6-3
Janelle Wasson (EN) def. Amanda Miller, 6-1, 6-3
Haley Schroeder-Megan Ludwig (EN) def. Cori Vaughn-Becca Wooster, 6-2, 6-4
Blake Mullet-Kelsie Leggett (LL) def. Megan Goldsmith-Amanda Sayles, 6-2, 6-4
East Noble 2
Chelsea Ort (EN) def. Charlotte Jones, 6-3, 7-5
Miranda Kresse (WV) def. Anna Papnik, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1
Janelle Wasson def. Savannah Rang, 6-4, 6-0
Katelyn Miller-Chanda Strong (WV) def. Haley Schroeder-Megan Ludwig, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
Tessa Zimmerly-Megan Steider (WV) def. Megan Goldsmith-Amanda Sayles, 6-4, 6-3