PARKERSBURG -The first meet of the year between the tennis teams at Parkersburg High School and Parkersburg South is always a highly-anticipated match that will answer many of the questions floating around both tennis camps.
Can PHS continue its dominance in the city series? Can South pull off an upset or at least be competitive?
Those questions, at least for now, were answered on a sunny, windy Tuesday afternoon at the Erickson All-Sports Facility, where the Big Reds swept the Patriots. The PHS boys took a 5-2 decision while the Big Red girls didn't drop a match in posting a 7-0 win.
"The first-time around can be a little nerve-wracking,'' said PHS coach Pam Reeves. "It helps get rid of the jitters.''
Reeves was anxious to see how both of her No. 4 singles players would react as Neema Saldevandi and Alex Olson are freshman. The results were good as Saldevandi recorded an 8-2 win over Alex Herring and Olson managed an 8-4 triumph over Ally Monroe.
The 8-4 match was as close as the Patriot girls would come in the singles bouts as PHS clinched the team victory before the doubles matches ever took the court.
At No. 1, Cassandra Powell downed Regan Hanlon, 8-2. Sydney Stanberry captured her No. 2 match over Jesse Mongilio, 8-2, while Katie Gnegy won the No. 3 singles bout over Madison Matheny, 8-1.
In the doubles matches, Powell and Olson teamed to defeat Hanlon and Mongilio, 8-1. In the closest match on the girls side, Stansberry and Gnegy managed a 9-7 win over Monroe and Megan Galici. Big Reds' Verena Hohe and Ashley Casto won the No. 3 doubles match, 8-0, over Matheny and Breanna Cox.
The boys match was somewhat more suspenseful thanks to South's Garrett Dailey posting a hard-fought 9-7 win over Tristram Spitsnaugle at No. 2 singles. That was the only singles match that went to the Patriots as Alexander D'Costa defeated Grant Tebay, 8-4, at No. 1, while Josh Roberts defeated Camilo Sarzosa, 8-2, at No. 3 to join Saldevandi in the winner's column.
South also won one of the three doubles bouts with Sarzosa and Herring claiming a 9-8 (7-4) win over Rhone Thrash and Roberts at No. 2. Big Reds D'Costa and Spitsnaugle won at No. 1, downing Tebay and Dailey, 8-2, while at No. 3, Saldevandi and Landon Wells scored an 8-1 triumph over Evan Fleak and Landon Miller.
All four teams went into the match with 3-0 records. PHS will take a pair of 4-0 marks into Thursday's match at the Parkersburg City Park against Williamstown while South will take 3-1 records to Brooke on Wednesday.