Big Red girls, boys rout Crusaders in tennis

PARKERSBURG – There was little excitement here Friday at City Park during a high school tennis matchup between Parkersburg High and Parkersburg Catholic.

The Big Reds dropped only one match in route to an easy afternoon.

The girls team for Pam Reeves didn’t drop a game against the Crusaderettes all afternoon.

“I took some of our better girls out today,” said Reeves. “Dino Lyons, the Catholic coach, told me his girls were just looking for experience at this point in the season.”

Bairavi Sundaram, Lauren Kruger, Bre Offenberger and Zoe Pingley all got wins in their singles matches and the pair of Sundaram and and Kruger grabbed a win over Reagan Hass and Katelyn Kammerer while Offenberger and Pingley downed Lauren Helm and Kamaria Robinson.

Parkersburg’s No. 3 doubles duo of Emily and Quinn Snyder grabbed a win by forfeit.

On the boys side, a number of matches developed into contests especially the No. 1 singles matchup of Parkersburg’s Zarion Jones and Catholic’s Nash Morris.

The two players battled to a first duece at 40-all before Jones took the advantage. Nash hit a return that the Big Red sent back into the net on the next serve to even things at 40 once more. Again Jones took the advantage on the next point by the Crusader battled back again and took the advantage and the first game on the next three serves.

The Big Red netter didn’t blink an eye and regrouped to take the next two games before Nash was able to get another win to put the score at 3-2 Jones.

“I was playing really nervous and tight,” said Jones. “Especially after he came back and grabbed that fifth game after I had built a little momentum.”

Jones quickly recovered from the loss and broke serve on Nash in the sixth game to gain back some momentum.

“That really felt good to break him,” said Jones. “He is a really good player and I didn’t want to get into a shootout with him and the break gave me some much needed confidence to take control of the match from there.”

It appeared the energy may swing back in Nash’s corner and he may return the broken serve after he jumped out to a 40-love lead in the next game but Jones battled back through three dueces to snare a 5-2 lead.

“I did get a little excited after that sixth set,” said Jones. “He did a really good job of capitalizing on that early in the game but thankful I was able to calm down and get my head on straight.”

Jones again broke Nash’s serve in the next game, 40-15, but Parkersburg Catholic’s top player showed no signs of giving up on the match. The sophomore battled to a duece in the ninth game but couldn’t hold off the Big Reds’ explosive freshman on the final point.

Jones’ final return of the game sizzled through the air as if it were coming off the racket of a professional.

The pair warred through two ties in the final set before Jones but the match away for good with a flurry of backhands during a competitive volley.

Neema Saadevandi made quick work of Noah Chicester in the No. 2 singles match, 8-1.

“Neema is such an intelligent person and he finds a weakness and he goes for it,” said Reeves. “Once he gets one shot going he continues to work it until he breaks you down.”

The junior also contributed to the 8-2 No. 2 doubles win with partner Andrew Gnegy over the Catholic’s duo of Morris and Brendan Smith. Both Big Reds appeared to be on the same page constantly with Saadevandi taking over at times followed by a sudden and unexpected decisive shot from Gnegy.

“Those two when they play doubles this year have kept getting better and better the more they have played,” said Reeves.

Smith was able to exact some revenge for the loss when he toppled Landon Wells, 8-3, in the No. 3 singles matchup.

It was not an entirely down day for the senior however. Wells along with Jones took down Chidester and Mitchell Clowes, 8-2, in the No. 1 doubles match.

The Big Reds, who will be back in action at 9:30 a.m. today when they welcome both John Marshall and Brooke to City Park, got the cherry on top of their sweep when Andrew Gnegy finished things with an 8-2 win over Clowes in the No. 4 singles matchup.