By Josh Brown
TIPP CITY — Coming off of a loss to one of the best teams in the Dayton area, Tippecanoe was looking to regain its edge against visiting Lehman.
The Cavaliers, meanwhile, have faced a steady stream of tough teams to start the season.
And while Lehman will use its third straight loss as a learning tool, the Red Devils were able to play solid tennis up and down the lineup, recording a 5-0 victory Friday at Tippecanoe Middle School to finish the first week of the new season with a 2-1 record.
Tippecanoe began the year with a victory over Eaton, but then the Devils faced Bellbrook on Thursday and fell 4-1. Still, they were able to get something from the defeat.
“We had a really good starter match against Eaton, and that was a good match to see where we’re at,” Tippecanoe tennis coach Kaci Finfrock said. “Then we faced Bellbrook. That was a nice match to see where we fall and what we need to work on. After that, we needed to come out focused against Lehman.”
And the Devils did just that. It was particularly evident at singles, too, where Tippecanoe swept all three spots without dropping a game.
At first singles, Tippecanoe’s Kennedy Reeder defeated Lehman’s Diana Gibson 6-0, 6-0. At second singles, Ladia Coning defeated Alex Read 6-0, 6-0. At third singles, Jordan Jones — who picked up Tippecanoe’s only win against Bellbrook — defeated Alison Briggs 6-0, 6-0.
“We highlighted the positives after the Bellbrook match,” Finfrock said. “It was good to see the girls not get discouraged by the loss. A year ago, that match wouldn’t have been as close. The match scores may not have indicated it there, but we took most of those games to deuce. We highlighted the positives after that match, but we just couldn’t finish points. Today, we did.”
“We’re still making a lot of mistakes, and we’ve been trying to work on those things in practice,” first-year Lehman coach Tim Ungericht said. “I’m trying to work with the girls on things like keeping their bodies down, just the basics really. We’ve got a lot of inexperienced players. We do have two seniors, and they’ve got experience. We’ve just been facing strong teams off the bat.
“Miami Valley is one of the top 15 teams in the state, and Ada was really good, too — and they had 15 girls. We knew Miami Valley and Tipp were going to be tough matches.”
Reeder and Gibson played a solid match at first singles, with the Cavs’ senior able to keep long rallies going against Tippecanoe’s junior. But Reeder was able to finish off winners, luring Gibson to the net and dropping lobs just inside the baseline on a number of occasions.
“That’s a huge positive, being able to finish off those points,” Finfrock said. “Against Bellbrook, we couldn’t, but today we were able to do that. That’s huge for us, being able to learn from our losses.”
“Diana’s got talent, she just made a lot of those same errors,” Ungericht said. “I’m trying to work on her getting the ball deeper and hit more first serves. She needs to work points better and hit those short balls deep.”
Tippecanoe was solid at doubles, too. At first doubles, Ali Merrick and Victoria Nordquist defeated Emma Simpson and Sarah Gibson 6-1, 6-2. At second doubles, Sophia McDowell and Sydney Laymon defeated Ann Pennaparra and Melanie Brunner 6-2, 6-1.
Lehman travels to Elida on Tuesday before hosting Kenton Ridge Wednesday.
“We’ll get better as the year goes on,” Ungericht said. “Our schedule is front-heavy with a lot of good teams. And I’m new, too. I’m still getting to know the girls, and they’re getting to know me.”
Tippecanoe, meanwhile, travels to Carroll Monday.
“They’ve got a good program, and they’ll put us to the test,” Finfrock said. “But I’d rather have a tough schedule.”
Northmont 4, Troy 1
CLAYTON — The Troy Trojans hit their first roadblock Thursday.
Facing a tough Northmont squad, Troy’s experienced proved to not be enough in a 4-1 loss as the team fell to 2-1 on the season.
Troy’s lone win came at second doubles, where Meredith Pruitt and Katie Sherrick defeated Serenity Anderson and Molly Buchanan 6-2, 6-0.
At first singles, Hannah Essick lost to Akilah Parker 6-3, 6-3. At second singles, Maggie Hennessy lost to Marissa Anderson 6-2, 6-4. At third singles, Ashley Bruns lost to Kennedy Harden 7-5, 1-6, 7-5. At first doubles, Zoey Scancarello and Sierra Verstraten lost to Michelle Hibbord and Morgan Grandfield 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.
“Meredith and Katie played very consistent tennis to earn their win,” Troy coach Mark Goldner said. “Northmont has three strong singles players, with Parker being one of the area’s best Division I players. Hannah played her tough with a lot of long points. Maggie fought hard and had a very close second set, and Ashley’s match could have gone either way but we just fell short. And Zoey and Sierra played a good match. They were up 4-1 in the third set before losing 7-5.
“Overall, I was pleased with our team’s effort and hope we continue to improve. With a couple of breaks, we could have pulled off a 3-2 win here today.”
Troy travels to Tecumseh Monday.
* Girls Golf
Covington 227, FM 285
GREENVILLE — The Covington girls golf team picked up a Cross County Conference victory Friday, defeating Franklin Monroe 227-285 at Turtle Creek Golf Course.
Addison Metz was medalist with a 48 as the Buccaneers’ top four scores were all better than the Jets’ best score. Kelsey McReynolds added a 56, Sydney Blanton shot 60, Megan Alexander shot 63 and Emily Thompson shot 77.
The Buccs host Franklin Monroe Monday.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.