Disappointing day at tennis sectional: Trojans, Indians cannot advance in tournament

TROY — The Troy tennis team entered the first day of the Division I sectional tournament with a pair of seeds and believing it had an opportunity to upset one of the other seeds.

But the Trojans ended the day disappointed, as both they and the Piqua Indians could not reach the semifinal round, being unable to qualify anyone to next week’s district tournament after Wednesday’s play at Troy High School and Troy Community Park.

For both teams, it was the first chance all fall to play competition other than their Miami Valley League rival schools — and although the opportunity was a welcome one, the results didn’t end up favorable.

“It was great,” Troy coach Mark Goldner said. “That’s the part of the season I missed. I’ve got a lot of friends in other leagues, and we always play. Whether they’re good or we’re good, we always play, and that’s part of the fun.”

Sophomore Josie Romick, the No. 3 seed in the singles bracket, was one win away from qualifying, reaching the quarterfinals by sweeping Stebbins’ Pear Angsuwan 6-0, 6-0 and Northmont’s A. Haley 6-1, 6-1. That matched her up against Tecumseh’s Olivia Walrath in the get-to-district match — a matchup that Goldner knew would be a tough one.

After dropping the first set 6-3, Romick suffered an injury while trailing 2-0 in the second but was determined to finish the match, dropping the next three games but then winning two straight before falling 6-2.

“Josie played very well,” Goldner said. “The girl from Tecumseh is a good player, and I knew this was going to be a real dogfight. Unfortunately, Josie had an injury, but Tecumseh played a good match.”

In doubles, senior Cady Rhea and junior Esha Patel — Troy’s first doubles team throughout the season and the No. 3 seed in the bracket — had a bye in the first round and faced Northmont’s second doubles team, J. Dale and A. Sullivan, in the second round and were upset 6-3, 7-6 (5).

And Troy’s second doubles team of juniors Madailein Logan and Taima Rajab swept Wayne’s J. Brown and M. Potts in the first round to earn a shot at Stebbins’ K. Jenkins and A. Nguyen, the bracket’s No. 4 seed, and jumped out in front by winning the first set. Stebbins forced a tiebreaker in the second, though, and won that 10-8 to claim the momentum and rode that to a 4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-2 victory.

“Madailein and Taima, they won the first set against the No. 4 seed, went to that tiebreaker and lost it 10-8, and that was the turning point,” Goldner said. “That swung the momentum for them. And I’m disappointed we lost the other (doubles match).”

Also for Troy in singles, Maggie Wannemacher lost to Butler’s Kayla Lewis 6-0, 6-3, and Elizabeth Niemi lost to Northmont’s A. Ferrell — the No. 4 seed — 6-2, 6-2.

“Elizabeth played a good match against Northmont’s first singles player, was out there a long time and had a lot of rallies,” Goldner said. “And Maggie, she hadn’t played singles all year and did well.”

Piqua’s doubles team of Arabella Partee and Izzy King — the Indians’ first and second singles players during the regular season — also came up one win short of quualifying for the district tournament. After a first-round bye, they knocked off Stebbins’ V. Huynn and C. Scott 6-0, 0-6, 6-1 to earn a shot at Butler’s I. Bratton and S. Pithadia, the bracket’s No. 2 seed, and dropped a hard-fought match in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

The Indians’ other doubles team, Cassie Arnett and Lauren Hicks, lost to Northmont’s C. Ibe and A. Mitchell 6-2, 6-3.

And in singles, Grace Pleasant lost to Northmont’s E. Kelsey 6-1, 6-0, Hannah Pleasant lost to Fairborn’s Eva Gibson 6-1, 6-0 and Paige Stumpff lost to Sidney’s Jenna Grieshop 6-3, 6-1.