By Josh Brown
TROY — After five consecutive 5-0 wins to start the season, the Troy tennis team is now beginning to see what will make it a better team by season’s end.
After suffering their first loss of the season Monday against Miamisburg, the Trojans swept Trotwood 5-0 Tuesday in Greater Western Ohio Conference American League crossover play, only to come back on Wednesday afternoon and suffer a 5-0 sweep at the hands of visiting Chaminade Julienne in non-league play to fall to 6-2 overall on the season — but remain at 4-0 in the GWOC American North Division standings.
“Sometimes, you’ve got to lose to learn how to win,” Troy coach Mark Goldner said. “Miamisburg is a very good team, and we held up in that match. This is good for our team this week, having two tough matches like this.”
Against Trotwood on Tuesday, at first singles, Katie Sherrick defeated Layla Jones 6-4, 6-1. At second singles, Emma Kazmaier defeated Jayle Adams 6-0, 6-0. At third singles, Mackenzie Nosker defeated Kennedy Campbell 6-0, 6-0.
At first doubles, Jackie Fulker and Hailey Taylor defeated Acliyah Gasley and Bre Davis 6-0, 6-0. At second doubles, Cady Rhea and Kit Wolke won by default.
Facing the Eagles (6-2) on Wednesday, though, the Trojans found the going tough at every spot.
After CJ swept all three singles spots, both Troy doubles teams — which had won their opening sets — dropped their second sets. Both teams elected to allow their doubles to play a full third set instead of a supertiebreaker, though, giving them the chance to face an equal level of competition that they maybe hadn’t seen much of on the year so far.
At first doubles, Troy’s Fulker and Taylor — which had yet to lose a match this season — won the first set 6-4 but couldn’t hold off CJ’s Morgan Summons and Carly Fugett, dropping a second-set tiebreaker 7-6 (7-4). Troy pulled ahead in the third set at 5-3, but Summons’ big serve brought the Eagles back into the match and CJ pulled ahead to win the third 7-5 after two hours and 45 minutes.
And at second doubles, Rhea and Wolke won the first set 6-3, but CJ’s Valerie Dranchak and Rachel Stefan came roaring back in the next two sets, winning those 6-3 and 6-3 in a match that took also two hours.
“It’s good for doubles to play some tough matches,” Goldner said. “Doubles played well. Going forward, that will help us if we get into these kind of matches. They’ll have an idea of what to do and what needs to be done. And first doubles? Hey, they pressure’s off. They’ve lost one — which is okay, too. It was a good match. A really good match.”
Troy’s singles players found the competition even tougher.
At first singles, Sherrick lost to Olivia Bach 6-2, 6-2. In each set, though, Sherrick kept it close at 3-2 before Bach won a key game in the middle and got on a roll to close out the set.
At second singles, Kazmaier lost 6-1, 6-1 to Lydia Bice. And at third singles, Nosker lost 6-2, 6-1 to Lanie Sorg.
“At singles, the girl Emma got beat by was a better player today,” Goldner said. “And I think you saw Katie in most of the games. It’s just getting some key points and knowing when to go to the net and when not to go to the net. And Mackenzie, she hit too many balls right down the middle. Against good players, they’re going to start measuring them and put her on the defensive. She’s got to learn to be more aggressive and move her opponents side to side.”
The Trojans are off until next week when they play at Xenia Tuesday and at Milton-Union Wednesday.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.