Sep. 5—GOSHEN — With the sun's intensity bearing down Tuesday over Michiana, the match between Westview and Bethany Christian was even more intense.
The Warriors (5-4) picked up the 3-2 victory, but the Bruins (2-3) made sure that the visitors had to work for every point.
"We knew it would be competitive based on some common opponents," Warriors coach Tyler Miller said. "I'm just glad. Over the weekend we had some chances with some matches; we were close, just couldn't pull it out. It feels good to pull one out that's close because there's going to be a lot like this."
"It was a disappointing match to lose," Bethany Christian coach Matt Miller said. "Obviously you want to win some that are close."
Westview was playing for the first time since finishing 1-2 at the Wawasee Invitational this past weekend. For an opponent getting extensive work, Bruins coach Matt Miller said he was impressed at how fresh the Warriors looked.
The first court to finish Tuesday was the matchup between No. 1 doubles. The Warrior combo of Gavin Engle and Kaden Grau slid past their competition 6-1 in the first set but faced a steeper challenge in the following set.
Bethany Christian's pairing of Tristan Mast and Justin Hochstedler fought hard, shifting the Warriors into compromising positions and taking advantage. Engle and Grau would hang on to win 7-6 (2), gifting Westview the 1-0 lead.
In No. 1 singles, Mason Clark of Westview seemed to get off to the better start, however, Bruins junior Noah Schrock took control and moved quickly through a 6-4, 6-0 victory.
Ian McHugh made some nice plays that captured the crowd's attention, but it wasn't enough to climb back against Westview's Dylan Schrock who beat McHugh 6-1, 7-5, reclaiming the lead for the Warriors.
The final two points were the most competitive and brought coaches and teammates to line outside the chain fence to cheer on their teammates. The first to finish locked up the win for Westview.
Doubles partners Jace Lang and Luke Stults fought off multiple runs and one-point deficits to claim a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Bethany's Emerson Landis and Keagon Meyer.
On the opposite side of the courts, No. 2 singles got emotional. The most vocal and intense players for both squads Tuesday, Westview's freshman Kaden Hochstetler and Bethany sophomore Gideon Miller, traded fist pumps and shouts as the two would go to three sets.
This, Matt thought, would be the advantage for Gideon.
"My thought is that typically in three sets, the player who shows the most energy — like on your toes, jumping around, showing confidence — tends to be the player who wins third sets."
That turned out to be true. Following Hochstetler's 6-4 win in set one, Gideon fired a confident second set for a 6-2 win. Taking a 4-0 lead in set three, Gideon couldn't close out the win, allowing Hochstetler to rattle off three straight points.
Gideon eventually scored the next two points, bringing him to a 6-3, third-set win in an exciting match to end the action.
Despite the game already behind finalized before Gideon's win, Matt did enjoy the bit of foreshadowing he did pregame.
"I write each of them cards before the match with encouragement and focuses," Matt said. "His encouragement today was 'nobody can go longer than you, you can outlast everybody'. So, I felt like going into the third set he would have the confidence."
Even though the competition to end the evening was stained with a couple of contested points, both players shook hands at the end and seemed to let all frustrations go.
Westview takes this win into Thursday's matchup with Fremont while Bethany looks for a win at South Bend Washington Thursday.
Westview (5-4) def. Bethany Christian (2-3) — 3-2
No. 1 singles: Noah Schrock (BC) def. Mason Clark (W) — 6-4, 6-0
No. 2 singles: Gideon Miller (BC) def. Kaden Hochstetler (W) — 6-4 (W), 6-2 (BC), 6-3 (BC)
No. 3 singles: Dylan Schrock (W) def. Ian McHugh (BC) — 6-1, 7-5
No. 1 doubles: Gavin Engle/Kaden Grau (W) def. Tristan Mast/Justin Hochstedler (BC) — 6-1, 7-6 (2)
No. 2 doubles: Jace Lang/Luke Stults (W) def. Emerson Landis/Keagan Meyer (BC) — 6-4, 6-3
JV Score: Bethany Christian def. Westview 5-0
Reach Matt Lucas at 574-533-2151, ext. 240325, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.