Bottom of lineup helps West post win over Althoff

News-DemocratApril 24, 2013 

— On a night when the Belleville West Maroons needed a lift, Adam Seppi provided one Wednesday against Althoff.

Displaying a solid all-court game, Seppi defeated Brenden Skinner 6-0, 6-1 in the No. 3 singles match and the Maroons never looked back as they went on for a 7-2 dual-meet victory.

Four days removed from a fifth-place finish at the Belleville East Invitational, West recovered from a rare off night from its top two players by sweeping the final four singles matches and rolling to three straight-set victories in doubles to defeat the much-improved Crusaders.

Nick Vokes rallied to defeat the Crusaders' Michael Barnes 5-7, 7-5, 10-8 at No. 4 singles, while Hank Weck and Jeff Kleinaitis also won in singles for West (11-7).

The Maroons depth proved vital after both their No. 1 player, Cole Henke, and No. 2 player, Cole Lewis, fell to their Crusaders opponents.

"I thought we looked a little sluggish in the first set at both No. 1 and No. 2 singles. I was pleased at how Cole (Henke) came back at No. 1 singles before losing a tough tiebreaker to (Joey) Bartholomew,'' Maroons coach Andy Brunner said.

"Adam (Seppi) played very well and Nick (Vokes) came back after dropping the first set. Our depth was the difference tonight. Our 3-through-6 players all won big matches for us. And we take pride and really work hard in doubles.''

Althoff (5-6) was led by Bartholomew and Austin Mueller. After splitting the first two sets in his match with Henke, Bartholomew had three clean forehand winners in the third-set tiebreaker, which ended when Henke hit a return into the net.

"That was a high-level singles match and the second time they've played where the match was decided in a tiebreaker,'' Althoff coach Rusty Parker said. "Joey has had some big wins in the last couple of years.''

Mueller defeated Cole Lewis 6-3, 6-3 in the No. 2 singles match.

"Austin has proven for the last three years that he can play at a high level. I thought he came out and played a very smart match tonight,'' Parker said. "The final decision wasn't what we wanted, but I thought we played pretty well.''

Henke and Seppi, who won the No. 1 doubles division at the East Tournament last weekend, held off Bartholomew and Mueller 7-6, 6-3 on Wednesday to lead the Maroons' sweep in doubles.

The combinations of Lewis and Kleinaitis (No. 2) and Vokes and Weck (No. 3) also posted wins for West.

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