For The Tribune
Brownstown Central swept singles matches in straight sets as they defeated sectional opponent Trinity Lutheran 4-1 Tuesday afternoon.
Brownstown’s Ethan Carlin defeated Bailey Baker 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1, Ethan Wischmeier was a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Jace Crockett at No. 2, and Adams Pottschmidt topped Matt Stuckwisch 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3.
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Braves coach Mitchell Taylor said he liked what he saw from his singles players.
“I feel all our singles have played well these two matches this week,” he said. “I think they’ve been the better players. We’ve struggled with some of our singles guys, and I think they’ve started to take a step in the right direction.
“For the most part I thought they all served well. I think the biggest part of their success so far, especially these last two matches, is all three have gotten really good ground strokes, and they can kind of outlast guys by just being consistent.”
Trinity coach Mark Voss said the Braves singles players performed well.
The Braves’ Jackson Lahrman and Gunnar Zickler topped Pierce McCammon and Hunter Morgan 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles, while Avery Schwipps and Noah Voelker picked up Trinity’s point with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Reece Carlin and Cole Shasteen at No. 2 doubles.
Voss said Schwipps and Voelker played well, especially in the last two sets.
“Once we got going they played pretty well closing that out in three sets,” he said. “Their ground strokes came alive a lot, and they had pretty good play at the net, too. Avery did a real good job at the net getting balls down that they couldn’t get to.
“We were fortunate that they had a tough time serving a little bit so that helped us out a little bit. We played smart in the second and third sets.”
Taylor said Lahrman and Zickler played well together.
“Gunnar and Jackson, this is their fourth match together. They’re starting to figure things out,” he said. “They played No. 2 doubles with each other last year, and they’re just trying to get more comfortable with one-another’s strength’s and where they need to be as far as positioning on the courts. They’ve started to play really well.
“I was a little disappointed with the way No. 2 doubles played in that second and third set. But, again, those two are young guys (both freshmen) and they’ve got to get a little more experience, not just with how to hit balls on the court and play in a varsity match, but how to mentally take every point.”
The Braves recently changed their lineup.
“I switched our lineup last week,” Taylor said. “I felt we needed a little bit of a change. Guys have really responded to that. As far as progress I think we’re headed in the right direction, and guys are starting to play their best tennis.
“I like the way we’re moving but we’ve still got plenty ways to where I want to be by sectional.”
Voss said he felt like his team got off to a slow start in the match.
“I don’t think we were ready out the gate — across the board,” he said. “I don’t know what the reason was, whether it was the cold or the threat of rain or what. The second set was a little better at No. 2 doubles. They got a couple games there. They had a good combination there at No. 2 doubles.
“We know what we’ve got to look forward to for our sectional opponent. We’ve got some work to do. We’ve got to come out quicker and faster. It’s so tough to lose that first set and come back and win the second set, then have to play the third set.”
The Braves (8-5) will play host to Eastern (Pekin) Thursday while Trinity (1-9) will host Henryville today.