In a match that lasted nearly three hours, host Whiteland defeated Edinburgh 3-2 in Wednesday’s first round of the Johnson County Girls Tennis Tournament.
The Warriors overcame a 2-1 deficit for the win.
As skies started to darken, Warriors junior Paityn Gossett earned a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win against Edinburgh junior Allie Schooler in their No. 3 singles match to secure the win for the Warriors.
Schooler, who struggled with her serve in the first set, rebounded and utilized some key drop shots at the end to secure the victory.
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With the win, the Warriors (2-4) advance to Saturday’s semifinals and will host Greenwood (5-0), which had a first-round bye.
In Wednesday’s other first-round matchup, Franklin (3-2) defeated visiting Indian Creek 4-1 and will face top-seeded and No. 18 Center Grove (3-3) on Saturday in the second semifinal.
The semifinals winners will play for the championship Saturday.
Whiteland coach Mike Gillespie was first to greet Gossett when she came off the court after her grueling match against Schooler.
“She got down early and was down 1-4, and we finally came up with a little strategy, and it was working,” Gillespie said. “She just had to battle through it, so I’m really proud of her.
“We’ve had a lot of close matches this year, and this is the way we’re going to have to compete to win.”
In the doubles competition, Whiteland’s No. 1 team of juniors Avenet Badwal and Danielle Patterson defeated Edinburgh seniors Emma Westerfeld and Meghan Collett 6-1, 6-1.
At No. 2 doubles, Warriors sophomores Hannah Blum and Riley Burnside got by juniors Hannah Goslman and Sydney Schlotter 6-2, 6-4.
Edinburgh junior Vanessa Hoskins was sharp in her No. 1 singles victory against senior Madison Scott, 6-3, 6-2. And in the No. 2 singles match, Lancers senior Lillie Parmer defeated freshman Reese Johnson, 6-4, 6-3.
At Franklin, Indian Creek senior Candace Danz recorded the only win for the Braves by defeating Cubs freshman Katie Huechan 6-4, 7-5.
At No. 2 singles, junior Maddie Long got off to a fast start and defeated Indian Creek freshman Katie Burkman 6-3, 6-2.
Franklin sophomore Abi Smith blanked Indian Creek senior Sydney Johnson at No. 3 singles 6-0, 6-0.
The Grizzly Cubs took both doubles matches.
At No. 1 doubles, senior Nina Biasi combined with freshman Daryn Hyneman to defeat Indian Creek senior Baylee Wilson and junior Mckayla Russell 6-3, 6-0.
In the No. 2 doubles match, freshman Aden Smith and junior Katie Burk defeated Braves junior Sara Knight and sophomore Mackenzie Hunter 6-0, 7-5.