By Josh Brown
TROY — Troy’s tennis team kept pace with four other division rivals Thursday.
The Greater Western Ohio Conference’s new American North Division has been cashing in on its matches against the sister division American South so far this season.
The Trojans (4-1, 2-0 GWOC American North) swept all three singles spots without losing a game and only lost three games all day Thursday against Stebbins, winning its fourth in a row overall and improving to 2-0 in division play with a 5-0 victory at home.
At first singles, Hannah Essick won 6-0, 6-0. At second singles, Maggie Hennessy won 6-0, 6-0. At third singles, Ashley Bruns won 6-0, 6-0.
At first doubles, Katie Sherrick and Hailey Taylor won 6-0, 6-2. At second doubles, Jackie Fulker and Emma Kazmaier won 6-0, 6-1.
Before play began on Thursday, the American South’s only win over the American North was a Trotwood win over Piqua. As of this season, matches against the American South Division’s teams also count toward the American North Division title.
Troy will play in the Schroeder Invitational Saturday at Schroeder Tennis Center.
PS 3, M-U 2
WEST MILTON — Milton-Union dropped a narrow match to visiting Preble Shawnee Thursday, falling 3-2 in Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division play.
At second singles, Abby Hissong won 6-2, 6-1. At second doubles, Mercedes Farmer and Laura Billing won 6-3, 6-4.
At first singles, Ashley Wombold lost 6-2, 6-2. At third singles, Rachel Rock lost 6-2, 6-2. At first doubles, Cailtyn Bushelman and Hannah Fugate lost 6-3, 6-1.
Milton-Union will play in the Schroeder Invitational Saturday at Schroeder Tennis Center.
Tipp 3, WC 0
TIPP CITY — The only question Wednesday was whether or not Tippecanoe’s tennis team would beat the incoming weather.
The Red Devils only got three matches finished before the rain arrived when they took on West Carrollton Wednesday afternoon — but those three matches were all they needed to pick up their fifth win in as many tries with a 3-0 victory.
At first singles, Kennedy Reeder won 6-0, 6-0. At second singles, Sophia McDowell won 6-0, 6-0. And at first doubles, Ladia Coning and Alyssa Stewart won 6-0, 6-0. Jordan Jones at third singles and the first doubles team of Claire Wint and Anna Kueterman were both winning in their first sets when the rain hit.
Tippecanoe, which improved to 5-0 on the season, hosted Fairborn Thursday. The Red Devils will also play in the Schroeder Invitational Saturday at Schroeder Tennis Center.
* Girls Soccer
Tipp 1, Xenia 0
TIPP CITY — The Tippecanoe girls soccer team spent a lot of time working on creating quality scoring chances.
Next step? Working on finishing them.
And even though the majority of their opportunities went wide or high or right into Xenia’s goalkeeper’s hands, the Red Devils were able to cash in one of those chances as Makayla Stallard finished off a cross by Alexa Spiller for the game’s lone score as Tippecanoe (2-0) knocked off the Buccaneers 1-0 Wednesday night at Tipp City Park.
And while Tippecanoe coach Brandon Baker was more stressed than he would’ve liked during the game, he did see plenty he liked.
“I thought we played best we have in a long time,” he said. “Possession looked good — we just couldn’t finish.
“The thing is, we worked on that in practice yesterday — going inside-out, working crosses. And it looked like everything we worked on. We just couldn’t finish. But one thing at a time.”
The Devils did such a good job of possessing the ball, working it around and creating opportunities from every possible angle that seven different players took shots at the goal within the first 20 minutes of the game — all of them dangerous shots, but all of them not on frame.
Crosses by Lauren Lester and Amanda Sauls found no one on the other side to finish them within the game’s first few minutes, then a corner kick by Sauls was redirected by Abby Walker, but that shot was blocked and cleared. Allie Wasson tried to redirect another pass in, but her shot went wide right. And with 30 minutes left in the half, Lester got open in front of the goal, but she hit her shot high. Moments later, Lester missed another shot just wide of the near post, then Lauren Weimer hit a shot wide.
With 26:40 left in the half, Xenia hit its only true shot attempt of the game, sending it high. Tippecanoe went right back on the offensive, with Katie Kramer and Spiller both hitting shots wide. Walker fired a shot wide at the 22-minute mark, then Mackenzie Weaver had a shot deflected out with 18:30 left in the half.
“The build-up was great. It was nice to see us do that,” Baker said. “We’ve started a new formation with more attackers, and we’re trying to learn that. The girls are starting to learn that, and the more games we get, the better we’re going to look.”
Tippecanoe’s best chance came when Weimer hit a 30-yard shot that clanged off the crossbar. The Devils continued the attack, with Lexi Polansky dishing to Spiller for a shot at a wide-open goal — but there wasn’t enough on the shot, it rolled to a stop just before the goal line and the keeper covered it up.
But with 11:22 left in the half, Tippecanoe finally put a shot on frame. Spiller sent a diagonal pass behind the Buccaneer defense, and Stallard won the race to the ball, tapping it just inside the post to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.
“We had the one time that we did it perfect, and we had someone there,” Baker said. “That was exactly what we did in practice, working on that. To finish that, that’s what we need. And it didn’t start just there — we had it from the beginning in the back, we moved it, and the build-up was great.”
There were chances to add more — including Lester hitting a shot off the near post — but the score remained 1-0 at halftime. And while the Devils continued to dominate possession in the second half and added shot after shot to their totals, they still couldn’t get an insurance goal. But it turned out they didn’t need any, as each time Xenia tried to counterattack, Tippecanoe keeper Claire Hinkle came out to cut off any potential shots before they happened and recorded her second shutout of the year.
Tippecanoe will host Northmont Saturday afternoon in a girls-boys doubleheader, with the girls varsity game at 3 p.m. and the boys varsity game at 7 p.m.
“I’ll take the 1-0 win,” Baker said. “It’s a work in progress. We’re looking to keep going and building.”
Miami East 1,
SPRINGFIELD — The Miami East girls soccer team fell behind midway through the second half but tied the score in the final 10 minutes, battling Northwestern to a 1-1 draw Tuesday on the road.
After a scoreless first half, Northwestern’s Rachel White finished a corner kick that the Viking defense couldn’t clear to go up 1-0. But with 6:20 to play, Miami East evened things up. Danielle Mannier won the ball near midfield, carried it to the 18 and slotted it through two defenders to Grace McCalister, who deposited it in the net to tie the score — and that’s where things stayed.
“The mental side of the game is a struggle for us right now,” Miami East coach Emalie Carson said. “We’re doing a lot of things well, just making small mental errors. I was proud of the girls for battling their way back into the game, though. They had a lot of fight in them.”
Miami East (1-0-2) will face West Liberty-Salem Saturday at Columbus Crew Stadium.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.