PORTSMOUTH — Once again, Wheelersburg girls tennis coach Jodi Wright went with a lineup shift —and once again, it worked.
Only this time, it was with Wheelersburg’s most important encounter of the season to date.
As a result, for the second time this season, the Lady Pirates prevailed over the Notre Dame Lady Titans by a 3-2 count —and thus remained undefeated at 6-0.
The Lady Pirates, with season sweeps of first Minford and now Notre Dame, are 4-0 in the Southern Ohio Conference.
Wheelersburg also owns non-league wins over Hillsboro (5-0) and Ironton (4-1).
Wheelersburg previously edged Notre Dame 3-2 on the Pirates’ home courts on Aug. 13.
Tuesday’s return tilt took place at Shawnee State University, as the Pirates swept both doubles matches with a mixed and matched lineup —countering whom the Lady Titans played and where.
Notre Dame won at second and third singles, while Wheelersburg senior Maddie Gill made it 6-for-6 in singles contests with her straight-sets (6-0, 6-0) blanking of Isabel Cassidy at first singles.
All five matches, in fact, were decided in straight sets.
In addition to Gill, Wheelersburg won the first doubles bout 6-0 and 6-1 —as Payton Walker and Isabella Hamilton swept the Lady Titans’ Viv Wheeler and Maddy Suter.
Notre Dame did strengthen its second doubles unit, but Wright went with a counter herself —and split up the usual duo of Emily Janney and Maegan Jolly.
This time, Jolly teamed with Maria Nolan — and that tandem swept Savanah Holtgrew and Mollie Creech by identical 6-2 and 6-2 counts.
Janney, incidentally, played third singles —but was swept by a same 6-2, 6-2 score by Notre Dame’s Ashley Holtgrew.
The Lady Titans also won at second singles, as Katherine Nelson swept Serena Kataria 6-0 and 6-1.
Wheelersburg 5, Valley 0
LUCASVILLE — The Lady Pirates, playing host Valley in an SOC makeup matchup on Wednesday, posted their third team-score shutout of the season with a 5-0 sweeping of the Lady Indians.
In raising their record to 7-0 and 5-0 in the SOC, the Pirates added on to previous shutouts over non-league Hillsboro on Aug. 22 and against Minford from a week ago.
Against Valley, only the first doubles duel went beyond straight sets, as Walker and Hamilton teamed up again to defeat the Indians’ Anna Marie Elliott and Tracy Lewis by a score of 6-4, 3-6 and 6-3.
Jolly and Janney blanked their Indian opponents 6-0 and 6-0 at second doubles.
In sweeping all three singles matches, only the third singles affair featured Valley winning more than one game in any one set.
That was at third singles, as Kataria won over Kellyn Mollette with a 7-6 (7-5 tiebreak) and 6-1 decision.
At first singles, Gill swept Kelsey Tackett 6-0 and 6-1, while at second singles Nolan defeated Rylee Johnson by identical 6-1 and 6-1 scores.
The Lady Pirates were scheduled to make their third SOC road trip in as many days this week on Thursday —with their first of two matchups against Waverly for this year.
The other, which is set to be played at Wheelersburg, will be made up on Sept. 15 as the result of a rainout.
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved