The West Holmes Knights shortage of players reared its ugly head yet again, this time when they visited Hiland for a match Wednesday, April 15.
West Holmes dominated singles play, Hiland did likewise in doubles action, but the Knights had to forfeit the third singles match due to not enough players, and Hiland took home a 3-2 win.
“That’s not really how you want to win,” said Hiland coach Tyler Yoder. “I’d like to think that the way Grant (Gingerich) has been playing lately that he would have won that match anyway, but we’d certainly rather have him play to earn it.”
In first singles, Ethan Meyer cruised to a quick 6-1, 6-1 win over Hiland’s Seth Haun. At second doubles, West Holmes senior Andrew Rodhe improved his season mark to 7-2 by defeating Dillon Zimmerly 6-2, 6-0.
Rodhe has made the transition from doubles, where he has played his entire career, to singles this year, and has been solid in the two-hole for the Knights.
“I don’t hit the ball as hard as some guys, but I think I am consistent,” said Rodhe. “I like to keep it in play. I also like to keep things on an even keel out there and not get too emotional. Coach always gets on me because I am always smiling.”
Hiland’s Grant Gingerich earned the forfeit victory at third singles, and Hiland made hay in doubles play.
The Hawks first doubles tandem of Charlie Schlabach and Logan Weaver continued their strong play, ousting Eric Biltz and Nathan Hartley in a speedy 6-1, 6-0 victory. Hiland’s second doubles team of Patrick Miller and Shawn Erb took care of West Holmes’ Jason Abraham and John Hipp 6-2, 6-2, marking their first win of the season.
“Our first doubles team has really gelled,” said Yoder of Schlabach and Weaver. “They seem to compliment each other well. As for second doubles, it was nice to see those two get their first win. As first year players, it can be tough chasing that first victory, so it’s nice to see them play well and get that out of the way. That was a solid doubles performance for us today.”
The win improved Hiland to 1-4 on the year, while West Holmes falls to 2-5.
“It’s a shame we don’t have that final piece, because we could realistically be 4-3 right now instead of 2-5,” said Knights coach Jason Otto.