Patriot boys, Ripley girls both record victories

PARKERSBURG-The tennis teams from visiting Ripley and host Parkersburg South not only had to battle one another during their season opening tennis match at the Erickson All-Sports Facility. But Mother Nature elected to throw in some freezing temperatures as well as gusty winds to make conditions close to unbearable for the athletes, fans and coaches from both schools.

“Our kids have been challenging one another for so long that they were biting at the bits to finally play someone else,” said Ripley head coach Greg Varney. “The wind is probably the worst part about today. You can get yourself warmer by putting on more clothes, but the wind really plays tricks on you when you are out there playing in it.”

And those tricks could be witnessed throughout the two hour match as balls that appeared to be heading out of bounds suddenly were forced to the earth by the wind only to land inbounds while other shots sailed high or wide of its intended targets.

“As a tennis player, you are taught to watch the ball,” said Ripley senior Emily Munson. “But that means nothing when the wind is like it was today. It (the wind) even changed depending on which side of the net you were playing from.”

Munson was able to figure the wind out just enough, however, to defeat the Patriots’ Regan Hanlon by an 8-4 margin in their No. 1 singles showdown as the Vikings went on to capture a 5-2 victory over Parkersburg South.

“I really can’t tell you the last time our girls have beaten them (Parkersburg South),” said Varney. “I know its has been at least four or five years.”

The Vikings took control early, sweeping all three doubles matches to take a 3-0 lead into the singles competition. Munson teamed up with Kaitlyn White to defeat the Patriots’ Hanlon and Jessie Mongilio in the No. 1 doubles match by an 8-6 margin.

Arrin Shatto and Tyler Barickman then gave the visitors a 2-0 advantage when they defeated South’s Olivia Osborn and Megan Galici by an 8-4 score. Brooke King and Megan Frampton then gave the Vikings a sweep of the doubles with their 8-2 win over Ally Monroe and Kaitlyn Fleak.

The Patriots, who play host to University and John Marshall on Saturday, did pick up a pair of wins in singles as Osborn posted an 8-2 win over White and Mongilio defeated King, 8-0. But it was too little too late as Shatto ended the afternoon with an 8-2 win over the Patriots’ Galici.

Parkersburg South’s boys would not suffer a similar setback.

“It’s a good start,” said Patriots head coach Scott Ash. “We haven’t been able to get outside much, so for us to come out and play the way we did today is satisfying.”

Foreign exchange student Jaun Cardenas led the way with an 8-1 victory over Ripley’s Logan Reynolds in singles and then teaming up with Grant Tebay to defeat the Vikings’ Reynolds and Derek Hill, 8-2, in doubles.

The Patriots swept the singles competition as Tebay defeated Hill by an 8-0 while Garrett Dailey swept past the Vikings’ Jacob Haynes, 8-0. In the most exciting match of the evening South’s Alex Herring overcame an early deficit to come back and defeat Ripley’s Jordan Ullom, 9-8 (7-3 tiebreaker).

Dailey and Herring teamed up to capture an 8-2 win over Ripley’s Haynes and Parker Lively at the No. 2 doubles and the Vikings picked up their only win of the day when J.J. Mahan and Baylee VanKirk combined to defeat South’s Jacob Liebau and Gabe Ingram, 8-2, in the No. 3 doubles match.