DJ Alexander and Greyson Azeredo drew a crowd at the fence. Not just because they were the last two players competing, but because the two were in a third set to decide the second match of a boys tennis double-header between Montoursville and Lewisburg.
The two traded blows, both hanging in. Alexander previously took the first pairing of the two with a much lighter 6-1, 6-2 decision. But in round two, Azeredo retaliated after a 6-4 loss and forced the third frame with a 6-4 win of his own.
Alexander pulled away in the third set, 6-3 to cap off a second match victory for the Warriors. Montoursville defeated the Green Dragons twice, 3-2 in both matches at home on Wednesday.
“It was close. No. 3 singles, he doesn’t fold under pressure, “ Warriors coach Shawn Gardner said on Alexander. “But it was really close, couldn’t have gotten much closer than that. Probably our closest match of the year right there. “
The rest of the singles matches did not go Montoursville’s way the rest of the day. In first-singles, Eddie Monaco rebounded and won a three-setter for Lewisburg (5-7, 6-1, 6-1) over Jared Matlack after dropping the first set. Without changes to the singles lineups, Monaco again took a win over Matlack, 6-2, 6-1.
Will Cecchini and Tyler Gilbert also played a tight first match in second-singles, the former coming out on top (7-6 (7-1), 7-5) before sealing a second match win, 6-1, 6-4 .
“It was touch-and-go there at the beginning because we were behind on a couple of those matches in the beginning,” Gardner said. “They all came back, one-doubles came back from a set down and won. DJ lost a second set and came back, so yeah it was a pretty good match. “
Noah Shaffer and Greyson Simms, after making quick work in the first bout of first-doubles with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Sarthak Vishwa Karma and Erich Stiner, dropped the first set in the following match, 6-4 to Vishwa Karma and Matt Rawson. The duo rebounded with a pair of wins to go the distance.
“They were definitely a better team in the second match,” Gardner said on the Green Dragons’ adjusted doubles lineups. “They were missing some guys the first time we played them in our makeup here. In the second match, they had their regular lineup and they were much better. Our two-doubles said that was the hardest match they won all year. “
After a 6-2, 6-0 first-match win over Dan Ren and Grant Rowe, Kaleb Watts and Domanick Young took on Stiner and Ryan Shabahang. The result was much the same the same, but a much tighter contest. Watts and Young took their second match, 6-3, 7-5.
With a match today against Central Columbia, a match Friday and another double-header on Monday, the Warriors have a lot of makeup work to do before the deadline Tuesday for district play.
“It doesn’t hurt,” Gardner said on Montoursville’s loaded schedule ahead of district preliminaries next Thursday. “It’s nice to have a practice once in a while and try to refresh some stuff and work on some things, but lately we haven’t had any practices at all. Either it rains or we’re playing matches every day. “
Against powerhouse Central Columbia, the Warriors may get a district preview. That is, if Mother Nature cooperates.
“It sort of depends on the weather. Tonight, it’s windy, that’s definitely a factor, “ Gardner said. “We play Central (Columbia) tomorrow and it all comes down to who plays on any given day.”
1. Eddie Monaco (L) def. Jared Matlack, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1; 2. Will Cecchini (L) def. Tyler Gilbert, 7-6 (7-1), 7-5; 3. DJ Alexander (M) def. Greyson Azeredo, 6-1, 6-2.
1. Noah Shaffer / Greyson Simms, (M) def. Sarthak Vishwa Karma / Erich Stiner, 6-2, 6-4; 2. Kaleb Watts / Domanick Young (M) def. Dan Ren / Grant Rowe, 6-2, 6-0.
1. Eddie Monaco (L) def. Jared Matlack, 6-2, 6-1; 2. Will Cecchini (L) def. Tyler Gilbert, 6-1, 6-4; 3. DJ Alexander (M) def. Greyson Azeredo, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
1. Noah Shaffer / Greyson Simms, (M) def. Sarthak Vishwa Karma / Matt Rawson, 4-6, 6-6, 6-1; 2. Kaleb Watts / Domanick Young (M) def. Erich Stiner / Ryan Shabahang, 6-3, 7-5.
Records: Montoursville 14-1; Lewisburg 10-7.