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Wapakoneta finishes WBL regular season at 9-0

September 17, 2013

Wapakoneta Redskins varsity girls tennis players Kiersten Wellons, left, and Carly Buzzard attempt to soak varsity coach Mike Klock with water from the team’s Gatorade bucket Monday in celebration of the team’s undefeated regular season in Western Buckeye League matches after its 5-0 win over the Van Wert Cougars. (Staff photo/Brad Frank)

Sports Editor

History was made Monday on the Rotary Courts at Wapakoneta High School.

The Wapakoneta Redskins varsity girls tennis team completed their first ever unbeaten season in Western Buckeye League matches, as their 5-0 win Monday over Van Wert in the WBL finale moved the Redskins’ league record to 9-0, clinching the WBL regular season title.

Wapak had previously outright won (at 7-0 in 1980 and 1981) or tied for the WBL regular season title but never with a 9-0 record.

“I knew we had a strong team at the beginning of the season, but I didn’t know if we had a strong enough team to get past Celina and Shawnee,” Wapak varsity coach Mike Klock said. “About a week-and-a-half ago, when we beat Celina and Shawnee in the same week, I knew we could do it.”

On back-to-back afternoons, Wapak beat Celina on Sept. 3 and Shawnee on Sept. 4. Shawnee finished second at 8-1 and Celina third at 7-2.

In the match Monday, at first singles, Kaitlin Snider topped Ali Moreland, 6-4, 6-3. At second singles, Allie Zofkie blanked Syndney Dull, 6-0, 6-0. At third singles, Rachel Roberts beat Claire Butler, 6-2, 6-0.

At first doubles, Kiersten Wellons and Chelsea Myers handled Syndney Felger and Hannah Stemen, 6-1, 6-0. At second doubles, Carly Buzzard and Amanda Sims shut out Kali Agler and Jess Agler, 6-0, 6-0.

“It means a lot because Wapak hasn’t won the WBL since 2001,” Myers said about winning the WBL. “It’s a big thing for us. We hit all winter in an indoor place, practiced all summer and during the season as well.”

Wellons said interest in the school’s tennis team has grown amid its success.

“It’s a big accomplishment,” Wellons said. “More people have started realizing about tennis and coming to our matches since we’ve been doing better.”

Four of Wapak’s five positions went undefeated in WBL play this season and thus each clinched No. 1 seeds for the league tournament.

Zofkie and Roberts each went 9-0 in singles matches. Wellons and Chelsea Myers were 9-0 at first doubles. Carly Buzzard and either Sims or Mackenzie Kaverman accounted for a 9-0 record at second doubles. Wapak’s first singles player, Snider, went 7-2 in the WBL.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic about our seeding, because we’ll have four No. 1 seeds,” Klock said. “Kaitlin will either be a No. 2 or 3 seed. We’re in great shape. But I told the girls that seeding doesn’t mean anything unless you go out and play up to your seed. Everybody is going to be gunning for us in the tournament now.”

The two players on Wapak’s first doubles team each talked about going undefeated in the WBL.

Klock, after nine seasons as varsity coach, saw his first ever WBL regular season title. He explained what the key is to putting a team in position to do that.

“We have seven or eight strong girls. That makes a huge difference, when you have that many good players,” Klock said. “You can’t do it with just one or two. It’s just not going to happen.”

With the WBL season in the past, Klock explained what he wants his team to improve before the league tournament and postseason arrive.

“We’ve still got to work on moving to the ball  — footwork,” Klock said. “We’re standing still a lot of times on short balls. They don’t move forward enough.”

Before the WBL Tournament, the Redskins will face three non-league opponents, starting with Findlay on Wednesday.

“Findlay will be a nice match for us Wednesday,” Klock said. “If we get past Findlay, I’ll be tickled.”

Follow high school tennis coverage from the Wapakoneta Daily News on Twitter using the hashtag #wdnTEN

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