By Josh Brown
TROY — The Troy tennis team may have left the match with its fourth straight win, and Lehman may have dropped to 0-4 on the young season.
But both the Trojans and Cavaliers got a little of what they needed Wednesday afternoon — a series of competitive matches — as Troy posted a 5-0 victory at home and still has yet to drop a match this season.
For Troy (4-0), it was the first opportunity for coach Mark Goldner to see how this year’s new lineup handled a team that fought back — the Trojans had only dropped a handful of games in collecting their four 5-0 wins up to that point.
“There was a lot of competitive matches. And the good thing to see was that we competed,” Goldner said. “Today, everybody competed. Do we still have a lot to work on? You betcha. But as the season rolls along, we just hope to get better. Get better at the net, putting the easy balls away.”
Lehman, meanwhile, has faced a string of tough teams to begin the season and, though the team has come up on the short end each time, they showed plenty of fight.
“We’re 0-4, but we’re a lot better than 0-4. That’s our schedule,” Lehman coach Tim Ungericht said. “We’re getting there. We finished third at (a tournament at) Schroeder (Tennis Center) over the weekend. And this year, we’ve got some good chances to get kids through the sectional and to district, which hasn’t happened in a couple of years. The numbers are back, and now we’re getting the talent there. We’re headed in the right direction.
“This was 5-0, but there were no wipes. They were close, and I figured it would be competitive.”
At first singles, Troy’s Katie Sherrick battled back from deficits in both sets, rallying to sweep Claire Larger 6-4, 6-3. At second singles, Emma Kazmaier had to battle through a tough second set to defeat Sarah Gibson 6-1, 7-5. And at third singles, Mackenzie Nosker defeated Melanie Brunner 6-1, 6-1.
First doubles proved to be the longest match of the day as Troy’s Jackie Fulker and Hailey Taylor fought back in the second set to force a tiebreaker, holding on for a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) sweep over Alex Read and Angela Brunner. And at second doubles, Cady Rhea and Kit Wolke won a fight in the first set and closed out a 7-5, 6-2 win over Keira Burns and Ann Pennapara.
“Mackenzie played really well,” Goldner said. “Emma played a great first set, then (Gibson) started to hit a lot of balls back, but she kept her poise, hung in there and won it. And Katie did too. She kept her poise, hung in there and did what she needed to do to win.
“First doubles had an easy first set, but that’s something you’ve got to learn to do, to play intense in that second set. But give them credit — they got down 3-0 but came back and came through in the tiebreaker. And second doubles, they came through 7-5 in the first, then jumped out in the second set and won it 6-2.”
It was also the first time in more than a decade that the Trojans and Cavaliers have faced off in head-to-head play — and both coaches liked what they saw, from both their own teams and each other’s.
“Give Tim credit — his program is improving,” Goldner said. “We had a competitive match today, which was good, and he’s doing a good job with his program.”
“Coach Goldner has been a good friend for a long time, and he’s been a mentor of mine,” Ungericht said. “This is my third season with the girls, and he’s really helped me a lot. I’m proud of our kids and the way we fought. We fought really hard after some really quick first sets in some of the matches, and we came back strong in the second. I’m really proud of that.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.