FAIRBORN — Thanks in part to the weather, the Fairborn High School boys tennis team has been dealt an even tougher varsity tennis schedule than they’d expected this season. Games with state-ranked Springboro would have plenty of dry weather to go around, while matches with teams more the Skyhawks’ caliber would be drenched in rain and cancelled.
Fairborn finally got to play with a team similar to their abilities, Tuesday at Community Park. And while Mother Nature tried to spoil the Skyhawk fun, Fairborn came away with a 4-0 win over West Carrollton.
“We’ve had six rainouts so far this season,” Fairborn coach Terry Miller said. “We’re at the point now where we can’t make them all up. Yesterday, we were rained out with Greeneview. … So it’s nice that we were able to get most of this match in.”
Fairborn’s Jon Long claimed a 6-0, 6-1 win over the Pirates’ Danny Lewis, despite limping around on a sore left ankle. Long said he’d injured the ankle while playing indoor football during gym class earlier in the day. He went to an Urgent Care clinic to have the ankle tended to after his match.
“I tried to keep my focus on the game, and not worry about the ankle,” he said. “If I would have started worrying about the ankle, that would’ve held me back. So I just did what I could to concentrate on each point, and not my ankle. Right now, it feels like it’s twice as big as my other ankle. I’m glad that match is over with.”
Long’s Fairborn singles counterparts registered their first wins of the season. Long Nguyen claimed a 6-0, 6-0 win over West Carrollton’s Aryane Trent, and Spencer Neuman battled for a 6-4, 6-4 win over the Pirates’ Abiel Tenerio.
At first doubles, the Skyhawk tandem of Kristian Shultz and Teddy Morton claimed a 6-1, 6-1 win over West Carrollton’s Bobby Bishop and Cesar Sentillian.
West Carrollton’s second doubles pair of Brandon Smith and Kristie Dinh won the first set of their match by a 7-6 (7-3 in the tiebreaker) score. Their Fairborn foes — Turkish exchange student G. Demirkiran and his doubles partner Nhat Mai — led the second set 2-0, but then the coaches from both teams noticed lightning just south of the park. With Fairborn having already won the other four matches, coaches Terry Miller of Fairborn, and Leslie Miller of West Carrollton (no relation), decided to call it a day.
“We’ve been working hard with these guys,” Terry Miller said. “And today, I think they were playing with more control and more consistency. I think they’re starting to learn that you don’t always have to hit the ball hard in order to win the point. They played with consistency and I think that enabled them to gain some confidence. They didn’t lose their focus and it earned them their first team win of the season. I’m proud of how they played.”
Unless the weather has other ideas, Fairborn (1-7, 1-2 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s South Division) is scheduled to host Yellow Springs at 4:30 p.m. today on the Community Park courts. West Carrollton (2-9, 1-2 GWOC South) is scheduled to host Dayton Stebbins, today at Robert Wilson Park.
According to Miller, a grant from the United States Tennis Association (USTA) will bring five new courts to Fairborn Community Park sometime this summer.