MUNSTER | Bill Heuer told his daughter Paige to keep her feet moving and added some basic tips before her match Wednesday afternoon.
Then the Munster tennis coach hung up the phone and continued his business trip in Pittsburgh.
The next time Paige talked to her dad, she planned to let him know that his team, Times No. 1 Munster, took care of business, beating No. 2 Chesterton 4-1 in a nonconference showdown that will prep both teams for the beginning of the postseason next week.
Heuer and regular No. 1 doubles partner Nikki Heiniger split up and played Nos. 2 and 3 singles, respectively, to help the state’s No. 7 team match up better with the vaunted Trojans. Each won in straight sets.
“It was different to play without my dad here, but my mom was here, and she’s been stepping in to help coach a lot,” Heuer said. “Plus, I still talked to him before the match about what to do.”
Bill Heuer had yet to miss a match this season before Wednesday, and he’ll be back at today’s showdown between Munster (12-2) and Highland, where both teams own a 6-0 mark in the Northwest Crossroads Conference.
Duneland Athletic Conference champ Chesterton (10-2) earned its lone point at No. 1 singles, where former Munster resident Meg Modesto outlasted Jessica Rooth 6-2, 5-7, 6-0 in a gripping two-hour, 20-minute slugfest. Modesto improved to 15-1.
Other than that Munster was quick to adjust to lineup changes.
Heuer beat Margaret Shinn 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2 singles in a matchup of coaches’ daughters.
“We knew we had to have mental toughness as well as physical toughness,” the Valparaiso University-bound Heuer said. “I feel like I executed a lot. I missed a few shots and lost some games, but I stayed positive because I knew if I showed a positive attitude it would show in my game.”
Heiniger won 6-1, 6-0 over JJ Lee at No. 3 singles.
“(Chesterton is) one of the better teams for competition around here, and they’re always pretty good,” Heiniger said. “We played well and made it easy on ourselves.”
Munster’s No. 2 doubles team, Mariana Rogers and late-season freshman call-up Anisha Vavilala moved up to No. 1 singles and won 6-2, 6-2 over Rachel McCrum and Ellen Kerr.
“Our doubles teams were able to step up, and our singles players were up to the task,” Munster assistant coach Dave Cafmeyer said.
Munster’s usual No. 2 and 3 singles players, Kasey Kulesa and Melissa Tepperman, won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles.
“This was by far the best team we’ve played all year,” Chesterton coach Gretchen Shinn said. “It’s a wake-up call for us. It tells us what we really need to work on and what we can improve upon.”