Troy girls tennis opens with a win over Lehman Catholic

TROY — In a match involving coaches who are longtime friends, the Troy girls tennis team opened the season with a 5-0 win over Lehman Catholic Tuesday at Troy High School.

“There was a long time where we weren’t playing each other,” Lehman coach Tim Ungericht said. “Goldy (Troy coach Mark Goldner) is a great guy. Because of our friendship, we have been able to bring back playing each other every year.”

And while Troy won all five matches in two sets, the Trojans were not without challenges.

Troy number one singles player Elizabeth Niemi is coming off a broken wrist and playing with a cast on — so freshman Nina Short stepped up to first singles, with Niemi dropping down to third singles.

“Elizabeth (Niemi) broke her wrist in July,” Goldner said. “She just got the pins out and has only been playing for a week. So, we decided to have her play at third singles right now.”

First singles provided the most interesting match of the night.

After Short won the first set 6-1 and took a 4-0 lead in the second set, the diminutive Lilly Williams showed her heart.

She rallied to tie the second set 5-5, before Short held on for a 7-5 victory.

“Lilly (Williams) is the shortest girl I have ever coached,” Ungericht said. “But, she has a heart bigger than anyone. I remember the first time I saw here as freshman. To see how far she has come, that is why you get in coaching.”

Goldner said it was a good experience for Short.

“She is just a freshman playing her first match,” he said. “Josie (Romick) and Elizabeth (Niemi) both played well. And our doubles teams played well.”

In the other singles matches, Josie Romick defeated Sarah Lins 6-0, 6-0 and Niemi defeated Katie Huelskamp 6-0, 6-0.

In doubles, Olivia Johnston and Casey Rogers defeated Ashlyn Hamblin and Eliza Westerheide 6-0, 6-0 and Katie Bertke and Gwen Turnbull defeated Evelyn Johnston and Vivi Chen 6-1, 6-0.

“We knew this was going to be a step up from last night (Sidney),” Ungericht said. “You can’t just play easy matches. I think some of the matches we played better than the score would indicate.”

Lehman will play at Carroll Thursday, while Troy was scheduled to travel to Beavercreek B Wednesday.

“This was a good match to start the season with,” Goldner said.

Made possible by the friendship of the two coaches.

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]