Indians tennis keeps streak alive
MIFFLINTOWN — It wasn’t just Tyrone that Juniata had to combat against, the weather did not make it any easier for the Indians but ultimately they managed to pull through and defeat the Golden Eagles by the final score of 7-0 in boys tennis action on Friday.
“I’m just very happy with everybody’s performances. Emmitt won big in his first set and then he lost but he found a way to come back and win it 6-0 and I love seeing that,” Indians coach Sheri Landis said. “Its hard to come back when your down and Xane had a little bit of a struggle in his second set and he came back too and won that so I’m pleased with their progress. And I love the fact that I was able to get some new players on the court with my doubles teams.”
It could not have been any more windy for the athletes to compete in along with the cold temperatures, which forced both teams to make adjustments in each of their respective matches.
Juniata was again without its No. 1 singles player in junior Max Lauver due to him being quarantined.
However sophomore Adam French was more than ready to fill in that number one spot as he went one-on-one against senior Nick Lewis of Tyrone. The action was fast and furious to say the least as both players were firing shot after shot with one another. Ultimately it was French who did not surrender, defeating Lewis in both sets by the final score of 6-3.
Junior Gavin Kint represented Juniata against the Golden Eagles’ senior Dean Grassi in the No. 2 singles matchup. Kint defeated Grassi in straight sets, winning the first set by the final of 6-2 and then later 6-1 in the second set.
Jack Strawser took his turn in the No. 3 singles match facing Andrew Savino of Tyrone and in once again Juniata came out on top in straight sets as Strawser won the first set 6-3 before closing the game out in the second set with a 6-1 victory.
Emmitt Hibbs found himself in a tough battle with Tyrone’s Kelton Raabe as the No. 4 singles match went all three sets with Hibbs coming through in the first set with a 6-4 victory. But Raabe managed to take the second set 6-3. With the match up for grabs, Hibbs dug down deep and powered though Raabe to win the match with a resounding 6-0 victory in the third and final set.
Freshmen Xane Whitesel may have had won his match against Tyrone’s Will Grot in straight sets, but he had to earn every single point for it. After taking the first set by the final score of 6-2, Whitesel fell behind Grot in the second set 3-0. Whitesel though scraped and clawed his way back to eventually take the second set and match with a 6-4 win over Grot.
“That was Xane Whitesel’s first singles match so he did very well,” Landis said. “If he sticks with tennis, he’s gong to be a good tennis player.”
With the victory secured, Landis decided to give some of the new players a chance to get some varsity experience.
Senior Angelica Y-Barro got to compete in her first tennis match as she teamed up with freshmen Chadwin Fisher who was only competing in his second tennis match. Y-Barro and Fisher took on the duo of Cohen Wallace and Maverick Fleck and took home the win over Wallace and Fleck with the final of 8-1.
“Just with how nervous they are when they start and the fact that they won it 8-1 — you know I’m just very pleased,” Landis said. “They seem to really have fun while their out there and that’s what its all about.”
Then the second doubles matchup featured two more Juniata players who got their first chance at some varsity action in Owen Hubley and Ethan Becker, who went up against the team of Colin Youdes and Elijah Walk. Hubley and Becker went on to defeat them by the final score of 8-2.
With this win, Juniata makes it a seven-match win streak, compiling a (7-1) record and will look to keep rolling when it faces Mifflin County on Monday.
According to Landis, the one match she is most excited to see is seeing their number one Adam French go up against Mifflin County’s number one Gavin Ream.
“Well I know Adam French is looking forward to play Gavin Ream, we’re hearing a lot of good things so he’s anxious to play him,” Landis said. “I don’t really know much more about their team that’s the only player I really know going into it ,so just anxious to see if it’s a good match up.”
Juniata 7, Tyrone 0
Adam French def. Nick Lewis 6-3, 6-3
Gavin Kint def. Dean Grassi 6-2, 6-1
Jacks Strawser def. Andrew Savino 6-3, 6-1
Emmitt Hibbs def. Kelton Raabe 6-4, 3-6, 6-0
Xane Whitesel def. Will Grot 6-2, 6-4
Angelica Y-Barro/Chadwin Fisher def. Cohen Wallace/Maverick Fleck 8-1
Owen Hubley/Ethan Becker def. Colin Youdes/Elijah Walk 8-2