Ryan Kleman, Solomon Hall and Nathan Voelker took care of business in their singles matches to lead Trinity Lutheran’s tennis team to a 3-2 win over Southwestern (Shelby) at home Thursday afternoon.
Kleman defeated Hunter Pappano 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, Hall won 6-0, 6-2 over Justin Swift at No. 2, and Voelker was a 6-2, 6-4 winner over Jack Bercham at No. 3.
Cougars coach Kable Walton said he liked the way his singles players took charge from the start.
“Winning in straight sets in all the singles is really good to see,” he said. “They were just being very consistent, pressuring their opponents, making them uncomfortable. Just playing their game, being comfortable out there is really what I encourage, and making sure that they’re within their game, but not exceeding what they can do.”
Hall said he was pleased with his performance, although he ranked a three-set loss at Brownstown Central Sept. 14 as his best effort of the season.
Hall, a sophomore said, “I was serving pretty well. I tried to aim for his backhand, which he was weak with.”
He said he likes to try different shots during warm-ups when he can learn opponents’ weaknesses.
“I like to hit right-left, up-down to see where he’s weak at. This was a good win. I feel pretty confident in our team,” Hall said.
He has played No. 1 singles twice this season, and the rest of his matches have come at No. 2 singles, and he is 7-4 for the season.
“I do enjoy number two, but I enjoy the competitiveness at number one, though,” Hall said.
Walton changed his lineup and had Nathan Franke and Cameron Gruenwald at No. 1 doubles, and Will Gausman and Evan Hunt at No. 2 doubles.
Franke and Gruenwald lost 6-1, 6-4 to Tristan Pappano and Caleb Pappano, while Hunt and Gausman fell 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 10-4 in a super tiebreaker to Ty Burchham and Carter Snepp.
Walton said that will be Trinity’s lineup for the sectional.
“I tried some new combinations and I’d say our doubles worked relatively well together,” Walton said. “I like them. They’re just trying to iron out the kinks here. They need to get used to their new partner and keep consistent.”
The Cougars take a record of 5-6 into their final match of the regular season against Oldenburg Academy at home at 11 a.m. Saturday.