It’s not possible to say the Waunakee girls’ tennis team has had an easy schedule early in their season.
At the Badger Challenge on Wednesday, the Warriors faced another top-10 competitor; this time it was the eight-ranked team in Division 2: Edgewood.
Against the Crusaders, the Warriors nearly pulled off the win as a team. Waunakee scored victories from Jena Opsahl and Eliza Endres at No. 2 doubles 6-3, 6-4, Danielle Rogers and Jadyn Statz at No. 3 doubles 6-2, 6-2 and Alexis Loomans at No. 4 singles 6-1, 6-0.
This meant Waunakee needed just one win in the remaining four matches to secure the team victory. The Warriors’ best chances came at No. 1 doubles and No. 3 singles.
Trista Ripp and Julia Zabel at No. 1 doubles and Alli Larsen at No. 3 singles both forced decisive third sets, but ultimately neither could pull out a victory. Ripp and Zabel fell 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3, and Larsen dropped her match 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.
“Those two matches were very even…” said Waunakee’s Head Coach Chris Nuenthel. “I think both matches played well in the third set, but I also think Edgewood had more experience from their players when it comes to a third set and pressure.”
Though the Warriors fell just short of getting the victory, sticking with a team the caliber of Edgewood is a good sign for a Waunakee team that hopes to contend for a Badger North title.
“Edgewood is one of the top – if not the top team – in the Badger this season, so this result was very encouraging for where this team is right now…” added Nuenthel. “Our line-up will be fine-tuned one last time as we are moving Jena back to No. 1 singles. That will put Sara and Trista back to No. 1 doubles, which will move Julia to 2 doubles with Eliza.”
This lineup shift was first put to the test on Tuesday, Sept. 3, when the Warriors hosted Beaver Dam, the results of which were not available for this week’s edition.
Waunakee returns to the court at Baraboo on Thursday, followed by an invite on Saturday morning at Green Bay Southwest.