PARKERSBURG - Opening the tennis season in less-than-desirable cold weather Friday afternoon, host Parkersburg High rolled to a sweep of Williamstown at the City Park courts, 5-2 in the boys matches and 7-0 in the girls.
The Yellowjacket netters, though, did get a twin win from their top boys player Luke Flanagan, posting an 8-2 decision at No. 1 singles and them teaming with Aaron Leo to notch a 9-8 tiebreaker victory in No. 1 doubles in the most competitive and intense - as well as last - match of the day.
But after losing 12 players from last year's Big Red squad, PHS head tennis coach Pam Reeves was just ''happy to get the first match in,'' what with ''spending the last three weeks through snow, sleet, bitter cold and pretty much all weather conditions. And with so many new people (this year), we were happy to see that they accomplished their goal - to see where they are and how much better they're going to be throughout the season.
Photo by Steve Hemmelgarn
Williamstown’s Luke Flanagan prepares to return a ball during the boys No. 1 singles match Friday at City Park versus Parkersburg High’s Saaman Ghodsi. But PHS swept the Yellowjackets, 5-2 in boys and 7-0 in girls, in the season opener for both teams.
''We have some new folks in some new roles, but they're ready to accept the challenge.''
In singles, Flanagan won over the Big Reds' Saaman Ghodsi at No. 1 after going out to a 5-0 lead.
Then in doubles, Flanagan and Leo bested the Big Reds' duo of Ghodsi and Alexander D'Costa at No. 1 in a close match. PHS led 4-3 halfway through and expanded that advantage to 6-3, only to see Flanagan and Leo battle back to gain a standoff at 6-6. Ghodsi and D'Costa, however, regained the lead at 7-6 before the Williamstown tandem rallied back to surge in front, 8-7.
After Ghodsi and D'Costa tied the contest at 8-8 to send it to a 12-point tiebreaker, the Yellowjacket combo wrapped up the the win by going out to a 7-1 lead to end the match.
''It was a very difficult match for the first one of the season,'' said Williamstown head tennis coach Jay Carter. ''Parkersburg High School is a tremendous team; they've got excellent players. So although we got beat, this was a good learning game for us, Right now, the regular season is a time for us to learn what we can and can't do, and how we can improve - and I think we did today.''
In the boys No. 1 doubles match, ''you saw our guys get busy and have a lot of grit, because that was a good doubles team they played,'' said Carter.