Boys Varsity Tennis
|Fairborn High School||4|
|Xenia High School||1|
The Fairborn boys tennis team traveled to the Greene County Fairgrounds to face Xenia in a GWOC South battle with the winner taking 3rd place in the division.
"This is my third year as head coach here, and we have gone from zero wins, to one win last year, and now we have four wins and are looking for more. We were last, then fourth so winning tonight would move us up one more spot in the division compared to last year. So for us, this was a big statement match, making a statement on how far we have come in three years."
This match was close across the board and it looked like it could go either way.
The most one-sided match of the night was at #3 singles where Mei Lin Kuttila was matched up against Luke Wright. The two players traded games early, but Mei Lin broke ahead and took the first set 6-3. The second set got off to another close start, but once again Mei Lin pulled away and took the set 6-2 for the win. "Mei Lin is playing with more confidence each match, and tonight was no exception. Earlier in the season she would start out nervous and stay that way. Now she still starts out with some jitters, but she settles in and the anxiety turns into resolve and she gets better as the match goes on."
At #2 singles, Caleb Smith was pitted against Alex Robinson. This match was close throughout. Smith won a tight first set 6-4, then got out to a 5-2 second set advantage before the nerves set in and Robinson evened the score at 5-5. A quick chat with the coach got his nerves settled enough that he was able to win the next two games and take the set 7-5 and the match.
With Fairborn needing just one more win to take the match, the last three matches were all as tight as they could be.
Brandon Schmidt was looking for his first win at #1 singles, and he was up against Wade Hutchinson of Xenia. Schmidt took the first set 6-1, but Hutchinson came back to take the second set 6-4, and the two were headed to a third set. Schmidt got an early break, and jumped out to a 3-0 lead, then held his remaining serves and took the set and the match 6-2.
While Schmidt was closing out his match and assuring his team would go home with a win, both of the doubles matches were drawing close to a conclusion.
At #1 doubles, Harry Huynh and Janiel Buita fell behind 5-2 in the opening set, but came back to win 5 straight games to take a 7-5 win in the first set. In the second set, Xenia's Jonny Shampton and Chris Jones bounced back to take a 6-2 win, forcing a third set super tie-breaker. As you would expect this tie-breaker was close, and back and forth until the Xenia duo was able to get an 8-8 tie, then win two straight points to win 10-8 and take the match.
The #2 doubles team of Silas Smith and Nghi Nguyen was looking to remain undefeated together at that position. They got off to a good start, but faltered, went to a first set tie-breaker which they lost 7-1 (losing the set 6-7). The duo had to battle from behind in the second set, and force another tie-breaker, and this time they won 7-5, to take a 7-6 second set win. The two teams went to a third set super tie-breaker to decide their match. The game was close most of the way, with both teams being tied 5-5, before the Skyhawks broke away to take a 10-6 win, and the match by the final score of 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (7-5), 10-6.
"We played a lot of tennis tonight. We are tired and hungry, but we are happy with the win. I was proud of how we played and how we were able to dig deep and win the key points and key games in the match. We have grown a lot as a team, and I'm proud of how they performed and handled themselves tonight. I hope this will give us some momentum going into the GWOC tournament on Thursday."
The win brings the Fairborn record to 5-10 over, and 4-7 in GWOC play. The Skyhawks will travel to Cloud Park in Huber Heights to play against Carroll High School on Wednesday, then head to Troy for the GWOC tournamet on Thursday.
Depart: 3:00 PM