Highland News Leader
After dealing with multiple cancellations due to wet weather, Highland’s boys tennis team is finally getting in some match play.
On Tuesday, the Bulldogs netters lost 5-4 at home to Mississippi Valley Conference foe Jerseyville.
“Overall, we were pretty competitive for sure and I would have like to have won that last match for the overall win,” Highland coach Matt Pellock said. “Since the conference tournament decides the conference champion, at least we got some wins there so when we get to the conference tournament time, guys will have those wins to get a potentially higher seed for the tournament.”
The Bulldogs almost prevailed late, as the No. 3 doubles team of Alex Roach and Tyler Kutz battled but barely lost a 10-point tiebreaker, giving the Panthers the win.
“It actually kind of came down to the No. 3 doubles,” Pellock said. “We lost a 10-point tiebreaker in that match.”
Highland’s top two players, Dylan Bargetzi and Sutherland Allen, both did well in singles as Barghetzi won at No. 1 over Spencer Bryant 6-1, 6-2 and Allen won at No. 2 over Brent Stackpole 6-3, 6-2.
“The guys at the top played pretty well for us,” Pellock said.
In doubles, Bargetzi and Allen excelled again as they beat Bryant and Stackpole 6-2, 6-1 to claim their No. 1 doubles match.
Ben Mitchell also provided a big lift, as he beat the Rams’ Austin Hubbell at No. 6 singles.
Highland falls to Mt. Vernon
Then on Wednesday, the Bulldogs trekked to Mt. Vernon, falling to a more experienced Rams team 7-2.
“They were just a little bit better in some of those spots than we were,” Pellock said. “A lot of these (young) guys, this is their first year of varsity (tennis), so they are kind of figuring it out as we go early on and they are improving.
“You tell them that it’s a process and that if you lose some of the close ones, you just move on to the next match and you and try to do something a little bit better the next time.”
Allen defeated Cole McDaniel 6-3, 1-6, 10-6 at No. 1 singles. At No. 5 singles Tyler Kuttz fell to Drew Piercy 4-6, 6-4, 2-10.
Allen has been playing very well of late, winning both his matches against Jerseyville and Mt. Vernon.
“Sutherland’s had a pretty good week, overall and he has really good strokes and he’s all of a sudden went to being more willing to rally with his opponents,” Pellock said. “That’s been his secret lately.”
At No. 1 doubles, Allen/Bargetzi took down McDaniel/Quan Nguyen 7-6, 6-0.
Pellock will learn more about his lineup soon, as Highland hosts Greenville in a dual match at 4 p.m. today (Friday). Then, on Saturday, the Bulldogs are a host site for the Triad Tournament, which begins at 8:30 a.m.
“So, we will play about half the season in two days and it will least be double what we played so far the next few days, so it will be a lot of matches,” Pellock said. “Greenville will probably be another that we’ll be close with them and then the Triad tournament we play a lot of teams from Central Illinois to come down here and we get to see them.”