By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
PIQUA — It may have been an unusual outcome.
But, not surprising, given the Piqua girls tennis team’s experience and the youth and inexperience on the Lehman Catholic team.
Piqua (6-1) swept 1-5 Lehman 5-0 Wednesday to keep an impressive start rolling.
Piqua returns all of its team, except at first singles, where Arabella Partee is an impressive sophomore.
“We were hoping to get off to a good start this season,” Piqua coach Kyla Starrett said. “Quite honestly, we didn’t expect to get off to this good of start. But, we have always tried to remain humble.”
Lehman’s only returner with a lot of varsity experience is district qualifier Angela Brunner, who plays at first singles.
“This has to be the best girls tennis team Piqua has ever had,” Lehman coach Tim Ungericht said. “It has to be. Bonnie Davis and Kyla Starrett have done a great job with the program. We won our first match with Northridge.”
Then, the Cavaliers began a run through the always brutal schedule.
“We got beat pretty good by Van Wert the next night,” Ungericht said. “I told the girls, we can’t play teams (like Northridge) every night. We don’t learn anything from those matches. Look at last year. We didn’t have a great record, but it helped us. We had a doubles team qualify for district.”
In the singles matches, Partee got past Bruner 6-2, 6-4; Alexa Knorr-Sullivan defeated Ann Deafenbaugh 6-2, 6-0 and Izzy King defeated Mary Lins 6-4, 6-0.
“Arabella (Partee) has played some tough opponents like Haley New from Sidney and Angela Brunner,” Starrett said. “Like any sophomore, she wants to do everything fast and is learning to be patient. Lexi (Knorr-Sullivan) and Izzy (King) both played well tonight.”
Ungericht was happy with his team s as well.
“We just want to go out and compete every night and get better,,” he said. “I thought Angela (Brunner) played a good match. Ann (Deafenbaugh) just ran into an athlete tonight and Mary Lins played a great first set. Three of my four doubles players are new.”
In doubles, Cassie Arnett and Skylar Cain defeated Liann Trahey and Taylor Reineke 7-5, 6-2; and Rikki Ramirez and Grace Ryan defeated Maci Vendiver and Sophie McDonald 6-1, 6-0.
“All four of our doubles players graduate this year,” Starrett said. “Cassie (Arnett) and Skylar (Cain) say instead of telekinesis, they have telekitennis. They communicate without saying a word.”
Piqua will host Stivers Monday and has a big match with Tippecanoe at home Tuesday, while Lehman Catholic will play at the Van Wert Invitational Saturday.
And both will continue with the same goal, getting better with every match and building to the postseason.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at email@example.com.
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