The Highland High School boys tennis team recently rebounded from a tough 4-5 loss at Waterloo to easily swing by host Granite City, 8-1, a week later.
Against the Warriors, Highland conquered all six singles matches and also claimed two of the three doubles matches.
In singles for the Bulldogs, Andrew Roach outlasted Carter Roustio 3-6, 6-4, 10-6; Nathaniel English swatted Hayden Day 6-3, 6-2; Dylan Bargetzi doubled up Nathan Tanthavong 6-3, 6-3; Montana Gilbert bounced Brian Ames 6-2, 6-0; Tyler Baublitz edged out Parker Spalding 6-1, 4-6, 10-7; and Ben Thomae trounced Joey Moslander
And in doubles, Highland’s No. 2 duo of English and Bargetzi pulled out a 9-7 victory over Day and Tanthavang, while HHS’ No. 3 tandem of Baublitz and Thomae trumped Ryan Mihu and Dylan Frasier 8-3.
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“We were looking for this kind of result after a tough loss to Waterloo and not getting any match play in the previous weekend,” Highland coach Matt Pellock said. “Even though it was an entire week after the Waterloo loss, it still felt like a bounce-back victory. I was pleased to see Nathaniel (English) come through with wins at singles and doubles. He is changing his swing some to add some more quickness and I think it was really helping him in both of his matches.”
English and Bargetzi fell behind 4-7 in the eight-game pro set, but they were able to control points much better at that point and won five straight games for a 9-7 win.
Highland almost had the win from Roach and Gilbert at No. 1 doubles with an overhead on match point at 7-6. However, Granite City made a good play and kept the ball in and forced a miss from the HHS duo. Roach came back in his singles at the number 1 spot as his consistency improved a lot throughout the match and getting the early lead in the 10-point tiebreaker was big.
Gilbert had no issues in his singles match and controlled almost every point while Thomae played well in both singles and doubles.
“He has improved a lot on his feel and has some hard flat shots he was able to control and come to the net off of,” Pellock said of Thomae. “Tyler faced some pressure in his second set, playing some long points, and he did well to finish that match in two sets. It was good to have Dylan get both the singles and doubles wins. His forehand is very strong when he is finding the ball off the racket, and that was beginning to happen again for him in this match.”
Against Waterloo, Highland and Waterloo split the singles matches 3-3. But Waterloo won two of the three doubles matches to also edge HHS for the overall team victory.
Winning in singes for Highland were: Roach, who shellacked Collin Webb 6-3, 6-1; Gilbert, who outlasted Blake Regnier 7-5, 5-7, 10-7; and Thomae, who survived a tough three-setter over Justin Kohler by scores of 6-4, 3--6, 10-8.
HHS’ lone victory in doubles came from the No. 2 team of Bargetzi and Gilbert, who blasted Webb and Kohler 6-0, 6-2.
Pellock said the junior varsity squad has been doing very well in their head-to-head matches.
“Andrew Thomae and Mason Clarke continue to get wins at our top JV spots,” Pellock said “Connor (Barton) and Dacoda (Riechmann) also continue to play competitive tennis and are getting wins as a result. The match experience Zane (Robertson) and Carter (McCall) are getting is showing as their scores continue to be close with their opponents and both were able to leave this match with wins and leads.”