Jason Otto’s West Holmes Knights tennis crew has been hanging tough all season long playing with just six players instead of seven.
Just think how elated he must be finally being able to boast an entire team and not have to forfeit third-singles every night out.
That certainly hasn’t hurt the Knights’ chances of winning since the return of Cameron Mathie, and the Knights have since reeled off a pair of head-to-head match-ups, improving their record to 4-5 on the year.
West Holmes whitewashed Zanesville 5-0 April 17. Ethan Meyer destroyed Nick Malek in first singles play, carving out a 6-0, 6-1 victory. At second singles Andrew Rodhe defeated David Griffin by a 6-1, 6-3 count, and Mathie bested Dominci Zarba 6-1, 6-1. The tables were turned in this match, and it was West Holmes getting a pair of forfeit wins in doubles play.
On April 21, West Holmes continued its winning ways, gaining a tight 3-2 win over Akron Hoban, and for the first time this season, the Knights got a win they wouldn’t have gotten had they been a man down.
West Holmes swept all three singles matches. Meyer claimed a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Ryan Davis, Rodhe stayed red-hot by thumping Ben Sutler 6-1, 6-0 and Eric Biltz fought off Nick May at third singles, winning in comeback fashion 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 In the nights most exciting match that would eventually allow the Knights to emerge victorious.
In first doubles action, Knights Cameron Mathie and Nathan Hartley fell to Jackson Miles and Dan Rich 6-0, 6-0, while the Knights’ second doubles tandem of Jason Abraham and John Hipp dropped a 6-0, 6-3 contest to Hoban’s Eric Gilbert and Joe Rich.
On Saturday, April 18, West Holmes hosted its own four team invitational, a contest dominated by Coshocton, which tallied nine points to win easily. The other three teams, Norwayne, Massillon and West Holmes, would be closely matched, with the Bobcats and Tigers tying with three points and West Holmes getting 2.5.
Norwayne’s Quinn Early knocked off 2014 state-qualifier Sam Magness in the first singles finals 6-3, 6-2. Meyer took down Massillon’s Nate Ruth 6-2, 6-4 in the consolation round.
At second singles, Coshocton’s Jim Magness won it all ,but it was Rodhe who supplied the tournament’s most exciting win in the opening round, where he was able to outlast Norwayne’s Scott Turnbow 5-7, 6-1, 10-2 to reach the finals, where he would fall to Magness.
Cameron Wyandt of Coshocton took the thirds singles crown, and in first doubles, Coshocton was also a winner. The Knights’ team of Biltz and Mathie would win their consolation match 6-1, 6-4 over Norwayne.
In the second doubles match, Coshocton won again, making it four out of five titles on the day, while West Holmes’ Hartley and Abraham fell to Massillon in the consolation round 6-3, 6-1.