With powerful gusts of wind overtaking the five green and blue tennis courts at Trinity Lutheran on Tuesday, adjustments had to be made early for victory.
The Brownstown Central tennis team overcame the elements, as they took out the Cougars 5-0 on Tuesday.
No. 1 through No. 3 singles came off the courts first for the Braves.
At No. 1 singles Braves freshman Laken Reynolds continued her standout start to the season by defeating Cougars junior Aurora Willman 6-3, 6-2.
In a battle between seniors, the Braves’ Brooke Hattabaugh ousted the Cougars’ Shelby Nierman 6-2, 6-0 for the No. 2 singles win.
No. 3 singles featured a pair of freshman, as the Braves’ Claire Smith edged Courtney Barker 6-3, 6-2.
Throughout the season, the Cougars have searched for consistency in the singles positions.
“Aurora has the most experience at singles of anyone on the team,” Cougars coach Mark Voss said. “She knows what she’s doing. We have tried a couple of different combinations at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, and we’re still kind of searching for what fits best.”
Both No. 1 and No. 2 doubles saw tiebreakers.
Following a 6-4 first set victory, the No. 1 tandem of Heidi Martin and Sydney Cockerham went on to win set number two in a tiebreaker (7-0) against the Cougars’ Allison Hackman and Maddie Lucas.
In No. 2 doubles action, Sydney Stuckwisch and Kendyll Austin won their first set for the Cougars 6-4.
The Braves duo of Jordan Trowbridge and Jenny Runge built up a 4-1 lead in the second before the Cougars came back 5-4. The Braves were able to rediscover their composure to close the set at 6-4.
Trowbridge and Runge built a 7-2 lead before winning the third set, super-tiebreaker 10-3.
“We’re just right there,” Voss said. “We’re competing in every match, and that’s been the story all year. We’ve just got to learn how to close them out.”
Coach Erik Stangland wants to see his doubles teams act more aggressively on their ground strokes leading up to their Thursday match with Seymour. He thought the doubles stepped that facet up during the tiebreakers.
“(No. 2 doubles) just hit the ball,” Stangland said. “They hit the ball better than they had for most of the match. They got in trouble in the first set, they were playing with the wind and the girls instead of against them.
“It’s the same thing for (No. 1 doubles). They played great in the tiebreaker, but the rest of the sets were kind of weak. We need to learn at both spots how to put shots away when we need to.”
Despite his team’s loss, Voss said he felt the squad did a good job adjusting to the wind-whipped conditions.
“It was as well as we could have expected,” Voss said. “We’re still in the learning process. We knew where we wanted to hit a certain shot, but the wind kind of dictates where it goes.”
For the Braves, they adjusted at the right moments.
“Positioning on the court is something were still struggling with: especially at the doubles — where we need to stand so we’re not getting in our own way,” Stangland said. “They adjusted better in the tiebreakers and went after shots, and that was the difference in those tiebreaks compared to the rest of the match.”
The Braves move to 2-4, and the Cougars drop to 1-3 on the season following the Jackson County dual.