By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Long before Lisanne Scheffers finished her marathon match at No. 2 singles that lasted more than three hours, the rest of her Goshen teammates had already sprinted to the winners circle.
Scheffers, a foreign exchange student from The Netherlands, recorded a 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 win over NorthWood freshman Sydney Wysong as the Goshen Redskins posted a 5-0 win over the Panthers in the sectional championship match Friday night at Goshen Middle School.
“I was really nervous,” Scheffers said.
“It’s nerve wracking when you are the only ones left playing. I didn’t want to lose since it was sectional.”
The other four matches were all over in two sets.
Goshen (14-1) advances to the Northridge regional on Tuesday where they will meet the host Raiders (12-1) at 5 p.m.
Winners from Angola and East Noble clash in the other semifinal. Winners return on Wednesday for the regional championship and a berth in the Fort Wayne Concordia semistate.
One thing that was longer then Scheffers’ match was the 13-year streak the Redskins broke by winning the sectional title. Goshen’s last sectional championship was in 2000.
“It’s been a long time,” Goshen coach Daniel Love said.
“Every team in the sectional field has won a championship since we have.
“There were three teams in the field that were capable of winning so we feel very fortunate to come out of here with a victory.”
Goshen topped Fairfield by a 3-2 score in the sectional final at NorthWood back in 2000.
Members of the 2000 team were Robin Braun, Elizabeth Christophel, Carissa Heacock, Mary Rose Jordan, Lisa Robertson, Steph Schmidt, Megan Thomas and Andrea Troup. Stan King was the coach and Gretchen Garcia the assistant.
Scheffers was leading 5-2 in the second set before Wysong rallied and won in a tie-breaker only to have Scheffers take the final set.
“Sydney (Wysong) gets to every ball,” Love said.
“We didn’t want to try and match that pace. We wanted Lisanne to swing her hits and to be aggressive when the opportunity was there.”
Scheffers said, “Coach just kept telling me to play every point and to keep playing my game.”
The Redskins finished with a 10-8 record last season. Love in his first season as girls head coach made some lineups changes including taking last season’s No. 1 singles player Ali Peters and the No. 3 singles player Emily Halley and turning them into a No. 1 doubles team.
“That was risky,” Love said. “Taking your best players on two courts and putting them together on one doesn’t sound like a good move.”
It has worked out for the Redskins as Peters and Halley improved their season record to 16-2 with their win over Tori Schwartz and Kennedy Walter Friday night.
“Two factors helped make the move a success,” Love said.
“Miranda Kay emerged as a No. 1 singles player and Lisanne came along at No. 2.”
Peters and Halley are two of the seniors on the Goshen squad and relieved to see the sectional drought end.
“It’s been 13 years so it feels great to be the team that ended the streak,” Halley said.
“We were definitely nervous coming in. Coach keeps telling us not to look for the finish line, but to keep our blinders on.”
Peters added, “We were aware of the streak. We knew coming into the season we had a good team, but I’m not sure we knew it could be this good. We all work well together and have a lot of fun in practice.”
Peters shared her thoughts about the lineup changes.
“It has worked well,” she said. “We have matched up better with other teams.”
Kay improved her record to 15-3 with a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles over NorthWood senior Emily Hoffman.
Goshen’s lone loss so far this season was a 5-0 decision to Northridge. The match was closer than the score might indicate as three of the five spots were decided in three sets.
“We are looking forward to playing Northridge again,” Peters said.
“I play in a league with the Northridge girls during the winter so I know them very well,” Halley said.
Following the loss to Northridge the Redskins played Concord, which according to Love was the point he knew this team was capable of winning sectional.
“We didn’t play well in the first set at any position in the Concord match before turning it around,’ the coach said. “Since then we have been playing great tennis.
“Coming into the season we had four seniors, including Lisanne, plus two juniors and a sophomore that had played a lot of tennis.”
NorthWood ends the season with a 12-7 mark.
Fairfield freshman Emily Mast (17-1) is still alive in the No. 1 singles tournament.
Goshen 5, NorthWood 0
No. 1 — Miranda Kay (G) def. Emily Hoffman 6-1, 6-0.
No. 2 — Lisanne Scheffers (G) def. Sydney Wysong 6-4, 6-7 (7-5), 6-3.
No. 3 — Sarah Rush (G) def. Megan Reed 6-2, 6-3.
No. 1 — Emily Halley-Ali Peters (G) def. Tori Schwartz-Kennedy Walter 6-1, 6-2.
No. 2 — Leah Shetler-Kayci Troyer (G) def. Alaina Donegan-Taylor Stutzman 6-2, 6-4.