Catholic boys, girls fall to South
VIENNA – A slobberknocker of an affair! That’s the only phrase which comes to mind when describing the battle between No. 1 tennis seeds Nash Morris of Parkersburg Catholic and Ben White of Parkersburg South at Jackson Park on Wednesday afternoon.
However, before the headliner commenced, both the Patriot and Crusaderette girls were given a chance to showcase their talents in doubles action, where the South girls ran roughshod over Catholic.
Sophia Miller and Katie Athey started things off for Parkersburg South by capturing an 8-0 decision over Catholic’s Regan Hass and Katelyn Kammerer, Jordan Mader and Malorie Fleak followed suit as they posted an 8-0 triumph over Lauren Helm and Kamaria Robinson and Allison Fleak and Klaire Perkins won their decision by default to sweep the doubles.
Things didn’t fair much better for Catholic in singles play as the Patriots throughly dominated starting with Miller defeating Hass 8-0, Alli Barber bounced Helm 8-1, Katie Athey took an 8-1 victory over Krammerer and in the final singles match of the day, Mader knocked off Kamaria Robinson 8-0, as South won by the final score of 7-0.
For the boys, it was more of the same, at least as far as doubles was concerned as South rattled off three consecutive victories starting with Ben White and Josh Cromlet defeating Nash Morris and Noah Chidester, 8-3.
Next up, Akshay Suresh along with his doubles partner Logan Clegg, took an 8-2 decision over the doubles team of Brendan Smith and Mitchell Clowes.
Last but not least, Michael Dawson and David Evans took down Christian Tallman and Austin Sweeny, 8-4 to complete a 3-0 sweep in doubles competition.
It was a much different story in singles play for the Columbia blue and white as the Crusaders managed to take three of the four singles matches from the blue, white and red Patriots, as the #2 seed for Catholic in Chidester took an 8-4 victory over Cromlet.
#3 seed Smith defeated Suresh 8-2 and in the fourth and final singles contest, Clowes took down Dawson 8-5.
Up 3-2, the Crusaders’ hopes rested squarely on the shoulders of the Morris/White match, which was filled with plenty of spectacle and an epic amount of drama behind it.
Both players came out of the gate swinging so to speak, but Morris gained the upper hand early before White rallied back and each traded points back and forth, displaying their full repertoire to captivate not just the fans watching, but also players on both teams who cheered them on in support.
As day gave way to night and the battle raged on, White took the lead and despite his best efforts, Morris faultered at the end, but gave an amazing effort in what was the best match of the day.
When the smoke had cleared, an exhausted Morris was optimistic about the way he had played.
“I’m not feeling to bad.” Morris said. “It was close enough that I wasn’t too angry.”
Morris also gave praise to the play of White, who he plays against quite often during the offseason.
“White started playing really well and I think I lost my serve.” said Morris. “I got a break and then I held and managed to bring it back a little bit, so that was really helpful.”
Morris’ loss gave the victory to the Patriots, who defeated Catholic by the final score of 4-3.