Last year, the road ended way too quickly for the Hawks. A 1-4 loss, with a close second that could have ended with a regional qualification dashed. There was definitely a lot more to be desired as the season finished on a somewhat low note.
But it’s almost always impossible to do the same thing twice in a row, or even a third. For the third year in a row, the chance to battle Scecina Memorial and take a victory was given in the second round of sectional play. And tonight, the varsity boys on the Hawks tennis team proved that commitment and confidence can make a huge change, and the boys were able to walk away with the very victory they have been itching to get for the last three seasons.
All five matches were clean and competitive, though some matches did end in a shortcoming for our Hawks. At #1 singles, sophomore Charlie Tran once again brought technique to the table, battling hard against his opponent, senior Brendan Schrieber, but ended up falling short after very long rallies and very technical shots on both sides, 3-6, 3-6. At #2 singles, senior Will Sommers was coming off of a strong three set comeback against Lutheran on senior night, and in almost every game channeled the same fire that he built that night. However, many deuces quickly were dropped to Scecina’s Jame Hentz, and Sommers ended up finishing up 1-6, 1-6 against a very skilled opponent.
But the losses ended there for the Hawks, and these three wins would earn them a very well-deserved victory in a showdown that would show just how far the Hawks have come, as well as bring the Hawks to their first sectional final in over five years!
At #3 singles, junior Seth Fitzpatrick came off of a tough loss against Lutheran in three sets to bring back a very competitive defensive edge against Scecina’s Alexander Andrews. Many shots were placed in very intricate spots on both edge, but in the end Fitzpatrick was able to capitalize with consistency and walk away with the team’s first win of the night, 6-3, 6-2.
Doubles had a sweep over Scecina, and both teams played very consistently and kept their cool. At #1 doubles, senior Casey Martin was hungry for redemption from last year’s finish 6-7, 6-7 at the same position, but this time took on the challenge with his season-long partner, junior Miles Webb. “Masey” quickly took the first set over Scecina’s Walter Egan and Daniel Rudicel with quick and consistent net play. In the second set, Scecina attempted to strike a comeback and bring the match to a 5-4 set, with Casey Martin up to serve. With focus and a lot of confidence, Martin and Webb were able to shut out Egan and Rudicel in the last game to take the second set and the match 6-1, 6-4.
#2 doubles showed similar results. Over the course of the season, junior Austin Hardin and sophomore Dakota Atwood have spent a lot of time developing a chemistry. And over the last few matches, that communication and chemistry has shown and paid off. Tonight was no different. “Dakaustin” came out strong tonight, with a lot of confidence and consistency not only in their net play and their groundstrokes, but also in their communication and movement. After a somewhat longer first set, the two were able to figure out Scecina’s Seam Barras and Michael Black and take down the first set. The second proved to be more consistent, and the momentum built would bring the Hawks their third and final point of the night for the team win with a clean 6-2, 6-1 finish.
Tomorrow night the Hawks have nothing to lose and everything to gain as they take on Perry Meridian for the fourth time this season in the Sectional #8 finals at Southport tomorrow night. Come out and support your Hawks!