Bremen, Plymouth meet in annual Smash Out Cancer match

Both Bremen and Plymouth girls tennis teams don purple as they Smashed Out Cancer
Ron Haramia
Sports Writer

The annual Smash Out Cancer tennis match between county rivals Plymouth and Bremen had a little more meaning this year with the recent passing of Lions head coach Mark Wagner.
After an emotional ceremony in Wags’ honor, players from both teams exchanged pleasantries, pulled their emotions together, then got down to business.
Behind a fast start from its three seniors, the Lady Pilgrims defeated the Lady Lions, 5-0, at the Mary Beth Hunter Tennis Complex in Centennial Park.
Cortni Cook was the first one off the court at No. 1 singles, and was followed closely by the one doubles pair of McKenzie Scheetz and Leah Smith. Both matches were won in straight sets.
“That’s our experienced players there and it paid off,” said PHS head coach Brad Haeck. “Cortni dictated the points and just finds a way to win. (The doubles team) had a little letdown in the second set, but finished well. They will be a solid point for us as we move forward.”
Some of the best rallies happened on the two singles court where Plymouth sophomore Kyla Heckaman battled Bremen freshman Kelsey Lawmaster. Both showed strong ground strokes and the rallies were long.
“A lot of offense to defense, defense to offense in that one,” added Haeck. “It was very competitive and fun to watch.”
“Beautiful points,” added Bremen head coach Brita Miller.
Heckaman took an early 4-1 lead in the first set before eventually winning 6-4. Lawmaster forced a tiebreak in the second set, but Heckaman may have played her best tennis then and won it 7-2.
Number 2 doubles and No. 3 singles needed three sets to determine a winner.
Plymouth’s Mary Beatty and Audie Plothow won the first set fairly quickly (6-1), but Bremen’s Courtney Lawmaster and Anna Leeper jumped out to an early lead in the second set and held off the PHS duo, 6-4, to force a third.
“(Lawmaster and Leeper) communicate very well and played tough,” added Miller.
The deciding set was close early before Plymouth won three of the last four games to close at 6-3.
“You’ve got to give Bremen credit,” Haeck said. “They were good at cutting us off at the net and we could not get them off. We may have lost some confidence at different moments, but came through when we needed to.”
The last match to finish - No. 3 singles - was a contrast in styles between two freshmen. Miranda German of Plymouth has a big serve, moves well, likes to attack and favors a quick point. Katie Barnes of Bremen is content to stay back, will run everything down and can probably do so forever.
German dictated the first set, winning easily at 6-1. Barnes was down 2-1 in the second, but played much more consistently and won five of the next seven game to take set two, 6-4. Barnes then led set three, 2-1, but German regrouped and won the next five.
“Miranda was more aggressive than during our challenge matches,” admitted Haeck, whose team was playing its first match of the year after having a multitude of cancellations due to poor weather. “Sometimes she presses too much, but it was a good finish for her.”
“(No. 3 singles) was a fantastic fight,” added Miller. “(German) was very strong at the net, but I think Katie learned a lot.”
Plymouth hosts Chesterton today at 5:45 p.m. while Bremen travels to Jimtown for a 4:30 match.
At Plymouth
SINGLES: 1. Cortni Cook def. Emily Smith 6-0, 6-0; 2. Kyla Heckaman def. Kelsey Lawmaster 6-4, 7-6 (2); 3. Miranda German def. Katie Barnes 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
DOUBLES: 1. McKenzie Scheetz/Leah Smith def. Lindsey Miller/Nicole Tomlinson 6-1, 6-4; 2. Mary Beatty/Audie Plothow def. Courtney Lawmaster/Anna Leeper 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
Records: Plymouth 1-0, Bremen 2-1