South Western tennis cruises, but Spring Grove's Wierman wins
South Western continued its hot start to the season, rolling to a 6-1 victory over Spring Grove to remain unbeaten.
Even in defeat, one of the Rockets still made a big statement.
Grant Wierman took down Gavin Kenny in No. 1 singles, 6-4, 6-4, to avenge his loss in the YIAA playoffs last year.
"He beat me in counties, so I had a lot of fire going into this one," Wierman said.
"We have a really deep team," Kenny said, "so even if we don't get the win at No. 1, we can get wins from the lower spots."
The Mustangs relied on those other spots on Tuesday.
Joe and Ben Harrison made quick work of their opponents in No. 3 and 4 singles, both winning in straight sets.
Ben Sentz was the next to finish with a victory in No. 2 singles.
After sending a slice forehand wide while serving at 15-40 to drop the first game of the match, Sentz won 12 of the next 14 games to beat Andrew Bowman, 6-2, 6-1.
Bowman "played really smart tennis, and I needed to adjust my game," Sentz said. "I just went with it and tried to keep him deep."
Sentz fought through deuce three times at 5-1 in the second before he smoked a service winner to close the match out.
With the Mustangs up 3-0 in team scoring, the battle raging down below in No. 5 singles took center stage.
As Shane O'Reilly raced past Jeffrey Bauer, 6-0, in the first set, it looked like another runaway win for the Mustangs was in order.
However, Bauer recovered.
O'Reilly needed to hold serve to force the second set into a tiebreaker.
O'Reilly put together a well-constructed rally where he sent Bauer racing away from the baseline with a deep shot, then he drew him to the net with a short shot. With Bauer at net, O'Reilly fired a forehand off the line in the open court.
O'Reilly raced out to a 6-1 lead in the tiebreaker before finishing the match with a crosscourt winner, 7-2.
Wierman put Spring Grove on the board a few minutes later, as he earned the only break of the second set in its eighth game and served out the match.
Kenny led, 2-1, after a dominant break of serve early in the first set, but Wierman won the next four games to go up 5-2. Leading 3-2 in the first set, his excellent on-the-run defensive lob at 30-all forced an error and was the key point in the first set.
"(Winning today) means a lot to me," Wierman said. "To have the tables turn is a great feeling."
"He's always been good at keeping balls in play, but he's gotten a lot better and I just couldn't keep up," Kenny said.
"It shows his hard work is bringing results to his game," Spring Grove head coach Holly Metzger said. "It gives our other singles players incentive to do well."
Kenny joined the party when he and Sentz won, 8-0, in doubles.
The Harrisons won 8-1 in No. 2 doubles, dropping just six points in the first six games.
South Western 6, Spring Grove 1
at South Western
Singles — Grant Wierman, SG, def. Gavin Kenny, 6-4, 6-4. Ben Sentz, SW, def. Andrew Bowman, 6-2, 6-1. Joe Harrison, SW, def. Blake Harlacher, 6-0, 6-0. Ben Harrison, SW, def. Kody Warner, 6-0, 6-0. Shane O'Reilly, SW, def. Jeffrey Bauer, 6-0, 7-6.
Doubles — Kenny-Sentz, SW, def. Wierman-Bowman, 8-0. J. Harrison-B. Harrison, SW, def. Harlacher-Warner, 8-1.