By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
SIDNEY —- It is two high school tennis programs at completely different points.
So, the results in Lehman Catholic’s 5-0 win over Piqua tennis were not completely unexpected.
Lehman Catholic coach Tim Ungericht has continued the success previous coaches had at Lehman, while Piqua first-year coach Brian Gillespie is looking to put the beginning pieces in building a program.
Lehman was coming off two tough matches with Milton-Union and Troy and the victory improved the Cavaliers to 4-3 on the season.
In singles, Danny Lins defeated Demi Nicholas 6-1, 6-1; Sam Gilardi defeated Jackson Elliott 6-0, 6-0; and Max Schmiesing defeated Stephen Dolder 6-1, 6-0.
In doubles, Elijah Jock and Eliaz Bezy defeated Cael Barr and Ethan Hammon 6-0, 6-1.
“We needed this match,” Ungericht said. “And that is no slight on Piqua. We are coming off a couple tough matches.”
And Ungericht is happy with his team’s progress this spring.
“You look at everything we lost off last year’s team,” he said. “Danny is making a big jump from first doubles to first singles. He gets a couple wins and that will give him confidence. You look at the teams we lost to. Our other loss is to Wapakoneta who could be the WBL champions.
“It is supposed to be a rebuilding year and we are 4-3. These were tough conditions to play in tonight, but we are going to see a lot of that in the spring, so that is always good to work on that.”
Josh George defeated Noah Ruley 6-0, 6-0.
“I have always spent as much time working with the JV as varsity,” Ungericht said. “That’s important because they are going to have to move up at some point and you want to get them ready. Max Schmiesing has had to step in at third singles. Josh George has only been playing for a month and he has already moved up to number eight on the team.”
Gillespie knew it was not going be a quick fix at Piqua.
“You look at it, we are basically all freshman and sophomores,” he said. “We just don’t have a lot of experience. Demi (Nicholas) is really our only player with experience.”
Piqua had opened the season with a loss to Xenia.
“The kids have basically been playing each other in practice,” Gillespie said. “Now that matches have started, we don’t have a lot of practice time to make corrections.”
Gillespie sees a bright future with the program.
“They are all excited and having fun,” he said. “That is a good thing. That means they will probably keep playing.”
And Gillespie knows the biggest progress can come in the summer.
“Just watching tennis, playing tennis,” Gillespie said. “Just hitting ball after ball off the wall back at you. That’s the way I learned.”
And Ungericht has compassion for the Piqua team and encouraged them after the match.
“Piqua is my hometown,” Ungericht said. “I want to see those guys do well. Brian (Gillespie) will be a good coach. He has the energy for the job and that is the big thing.”
Piqua was scheduled to host Urbana Friday, while Lehman Catholic has a MVTCA Cup Flight Tournament Saturday.
Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org