JAMESTOWN — Visiting Cedarville came away with a 3-2 boys high school tennis team win April 12 at Seaman Park, but the host Greeneview Rams made them earn it.
Three of the five matches went three sets, and Greeneview claimed two of those, on a sunny but very windy Thursday afternoon.
The Rams Matt Hovan surprised everyone by claiming a relatively quick 6-1 win in the first set against Cedarville’s 2017 Ohio Heritage Conference Player of the Year, Ben Heath. The Cedarville Indian rallied to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-2 to take the No. 1 singles win.
Cedarville’s Colton Lewis took the No. 2 singles win over the Rams’ Darian England 6-0, 6-0, then Jate Bradley won at No. 3 6-2, 6-1 over Greeneview’s Lane Hilderbrand to give the Indians a 3-0 lead, clinching the team match.
But Greeneview’s doubles teams both claimed three-set wins to keep the match respectable.
In a battle of lefty-righty combos at first doubles, the Rams tandem of Mason Link-Hunter Grim won a 7-6 tiebreaker (8-6), lost the second set 6-2 to Cedarville’s Nick Shaw and Ethan Leisure, then took the third set 6-2.
Greeneview’s second doubles duo of Moldova exchange student Emil Neer and Grant Callaway lost their opening set 6-4 to Cedarville’s Emeline Reed-Noah Myers twosome, but claimed the next two sets 6-3, 6-4 to grab a match win.
Cedarville ups its overall record to 3-2 (1-1 in the OHC) with the win while Greenview continues to improve but remains winless at 0-7 (0-3 OHC).
“We played a very strong match,” Cedarville coach Brett Cooley said. “T0 see three of the matches go three sets like that, it shows how evenly matched these two teams were. We’re happy to have come out on top.”
Greeneview coach Troy Terrill was just as proud of how his Rams players performed, despite the loss. He was especially impressed with how Hovan battled with Cedarville’s Heath.
“We have one returning starter from last year (Hovan), and he was a second doubles player. So I’m asking him to do the nearly impossible by jumping from second doubles to first singles this year, and he just pushed the best player in the league to three sets. He played a fantastic match, and I’m proud of his effort today,” Terrill said. “Everyone else is new to tennis, but they’re playing hard and improving with each time out. That’s all I can ask of them.”
Greeneview returns to the Seaman Park tennis courts on Monday April 16 for an OHC match with West Jefferson. The match with West Jeff is the first of four scheduled Rams matches next week. They play on the road Tuesday April 17 at Carroll, April 18 at home with Northeastern, then they end the week at Dayton Christian on April 19.
Cedarville returns to the Cedarville University tennis courts for a trio of matches next week, starting Monday, April 16 against Greenon. They Indians then have scheduled matches April 17 at home against Kenton Ridge, then April 18 with Catholic Central.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.