HOBART | At the beginning of Saturday's Hobart Invitational, Portage girls tennis coach Joe White said he wasn't too sure about his singles lineup.
"I'm not sure if the girls are playing where they should be," White said, "but competition will bring out what they have and tell all of us what we need to know."
White had a lot less doubt at the end of the day.
The singles play of Kacie McGuire, Mandy Haupt and Lauren Zack showed that the Times No. 10 Portage singles lineup is just fine. The threesome went 9-0 to bring home the team trophy as well as individual hardware in the Hobart Invite.
McGuire, who moved up to No. 1 singles this season, won all three matches in straight sets.
"I'm pretty excited to win the No. 1 singles trophy," McGuire said, "and I'm just as excited that we won the team trophy. We have some tough competition coming up, and this will help us prepare for those matches."
Preparation has been key to Portage's success, according to McGuire.
"We hit so much more this offseason," she said. "We were in the fieldhouse hitting almost every day. All of the extra work we did is paying off in how well we are prepared for matches."
Portage defeated Hobart 4-1, defeated Lake Central 4-1, and beat New Prairie 5-0 to take the team crown.
Times No. 9 Lake Central finished second, winning individual trophies at both No. 1 and No. 2 doubles.
"As a team, we have started out the year very strong," L.C. coach Bryan Szalonek said. "We played five matches this week and won four of them. All of the girls have been hitting their shots and making smart decisions."
The duo of Anna Weber and Brittany Warzyniak went undefeated at No. 1 doubles for Lake Central, including a straight-set win over host Hobart.
"We have been playing better lately," Weber said. "This is our first year as doubles partners, so we have some work to do, but our communication is getting a lot better, and as a result we're in better position. Today was a really good day, and we'll get better as the year progresses."
At No. 2 doubles, the L.C. tandem of Nicole Stanek and Vanessa Olson won all three matches to take the individual trophy. The tandem is undefeated so far this season.
The host Brickies, 1-2 on the young season, earned a 4-1 victory over New Prairie.