TROY — With its entire lineup finally set in stone, the Troy tennis team has spent this week settling into a routine at last.
Lehman, meanwhile, knew it would see two of its toughest matches of the season over the past two days.
The two met on Wednesday at Troy High School, with the Trojans putting away their fifth straight victory by defeating the Cavaliers 5-0.
For Troy (5-1), it was the third match since the final playoff between Nathan Kleptz and Jackson Goodall for first and second singles. The two had split two close trial matches before, but this time Kleptz was able to win both sets — both in close tiebreaker — to claim first singles.
For Lehman (3-3), it was the second straight day of taking on some of the stiffest competition it will see all season. Tuesday, the Cavs took on Milton-Union, which boasts two returning state qualifiers from Division II last season.
“These past two days, we’ve played two of the toughest three teams we’ll have all year, along with Centerville black later,” Lehman coach Tim Ungericht said. “If we play weaker teams every match of the year, yes, it’s going to pad our record, but what are we going to learn from it?”
And while Troy lost five seniors to graduation in the offseason, Lehman’s losses were just as tough.
“We lost all three singles and half of first doubles,” Ungericht said. “Considering what we lost, to be 3-3 — with all three of our losses to really good schools — Wapakoneta is good, and we lost to them 3-2 — to come that close and be 3-3, it’s really good.
“I try to work with our JV kids as much as the varsity, because when you lose kids, those kids will step up and take over. Max (Schmiesing) at third singles is a good example. He started playing tennis only two years ago, was JV all last year and now he ended up sixth on our ladder this year. I believe that’s how you build your program and keep your numbers up.”
At first singles, Kleptz defeated Lins 6-0, 6-0. At second singles, Goodall defeated Gilardi 6-1, 6-1. At third singles, Masunaga defeated Schmiesing 6-1, 6-1.
At first doubles, Dippold and George defeated Bezy and Jock 6-2, 6-0. At second doubles, Johnston and Short defeated Toner and Kramer 6-1, 6-3.
“I’m glad to get matches like this back for us,” Ungericht said. “It’s been some time since we played Troy. Coach Goldner is a good friend of mine, I went to him a lot my first couple seasons as coach, and he was always there with an ear and good advice. And that’s been a big help to me.”
Lehman hosts Piqua on Thursday.