Richard-Rouch win at No. 2 doubles, but Rochester falls to North Judson
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The No. 2 doubles team of Carli Richard and Ryli Rouch won their match, but the Rochester girls tennis team lost their home opener to North Judson 4-1 Thursday at the RHS courts.
Richard and Rouch are 2-0 on the season. But the rest of the team has won only one match combined, and the Rochester team is 0-2.
Afterwards, Rochester coach Jesse Atkinson said he is considering “shaking up” the Rochester lineup prior to the start of Three Rivers Conference play. Rochester hosts Triton Monday before road conference matches at Peru Tuesday and at Whitko Wednesday.
Richard and Rouch rolled over Olivia Burkett and Abby Chambers 6-1, 6-3.
Both Richard and Rouch are seniors, and they have shown an instant teamwork, according to Atkinson.
“They’ve played really well,” Atkinson said. “They’ve bonded well. It kinda helps when you have a couple kids that have known each other for a lot of years like they have. They’ve played really well. They’ve been able to really step up and win some pretty important points for us.”
In the other doubles match, Molly Conley and Lillith Eaton lost at No. 1 to Sophia Frasure and Amanda Troike 6-4, 6-1. Eaton is the only freshman on the varsity. Conley, her partner, is a senior.
Frasure and Troike were effective in pushing Conley and Eaton away from the net and exposing angles with their volleys.
“When Molly, Lilli and I were talking about their match afterwards, they were even starting to recognize how well their opponents were placing shots and able to get the ball where they weren’t, and that’s a tough thing to beat when your opponent knows how to pick you apart a little bit in doubles, and I think that’s really what we saw tonight. And it’s certainly not for lack of effort. Those girls were flying around and chasing down every ball. They were certainly not rolling over.”
North Judson also won all three singles matches in straight sets.
Lilliann Frasure knocked off Hannah Houston 6-2, 6-4 at No. 1 singles. Houston matched pace off the racket Frasure, a 2,000-point basketball scorer who will attend Indiana Wesleyan to play that sport.
But Frasure was able to pick at Houston’s backhand and force errors on that side.
“When you’ve got a competitor like Frasure, they pick up on that pretty quick and pretty easy,” Atkinson said. “That’s where it really kind of fell apart for (Houston). She’s got a great serve. She can consistently hit it hard. … But some little errors here and there. … For a lot of us, it’s been a hot minute since we’ve all been out playing tennis. So that still shows, but she’s out there competing against an all-state athlete and playing her very close by all accounts.
“You’ve got to be proud of that.”
The No. 2 singles match went to Addie Harper, who beat Kim Banic 6-2, 6-2. Ava Eccles beat Kylie Houston 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3 singles.
“With the pandemic and with a lost year there in 2020, you always have to take a team like this and work on consistency and working on keeping the ball in play and eventually getting to the place where I’m putting my shots to where I want them to go and it’s not just hoping this all goes well.”
North Judson also won the JV match 2-0.
RESULTS: NORTH JUDSON 4, ROCHESTER 1
Lilliann Frasure (NJSP) def. Hannah Houston (RHS), 6-2, 6-4
Addie Harper (NJSP) def. Kim Banic (RHS), 6-2, 6-2
Ava Eccles (NJSP) def. Kylie Houston (RHS), 6-4, 6-4
Sophia Frasure-Amanda Troike (NJSP) def. Molly Conley-Lillith Eaton (RHS), 6-4, 6-1
Carli Richard-Ryli Rouch (RHS) def. Olivia Burkett-Abby Chambers (NJSP), 6-1, 6-3
JV RESULTS: NORTH JUDSON 2, ROCHESTER 0
Makenna Beall (RHS) lost 6-2.
Carley Hott-Kaedra Shook (RHS) lost 6-5 (6).