By Dennis Atwood - firstname.lastname@example.org
WOODSTOCK -- The host Central Falcons boys tennis team swept Skyline, 9-0, in an non-district match at W.O. Riley Park on Friday afternoon.
The shutout by the Falcons follows their 9-0 season opening win over Warren County on Tuesday.
At No. 1 singles, Central left-handed sophomore Bobby Loveland had to come back from a 4-3 deficit, and work through a total of seven deuce games, to earn a 10-5 win
over Skyline senior Kyler Racey.
"Tennis, as my mom says, is 50 percent mind and 50 percent physical," Loveland said. "It's really tough to keep you mind where it's supposed to be during a tennis match.
That can decide a match, so I knew I needed to get my mind where it was supposed to be."
Loveland won five of the seven deuce situations, and took the last three games after Racey closed to 7-5, using an overhead smash at 40-15 for the match-winner.
Racey displayed remarkable skill in defending Loveland's lobs, returning several of with overheads with his back to the net.
"After [Racey] finished his basketball season, I played against him at Dominion Health and Fitness," Loveland said. "I'd hit a hit lob and I'd think, 'I've got this one,' and he'd just
pull something right over his head -- a magician shot. It took me a while to figure out what [Racey] really couldn't defend.
"I had trouble getting my first serves in early, but toward the end I was getting more serves in. My forehand was a little bit off today, but it started heating up a bit at the end."
At No. 1 doubles, Loveland was joined by another lefty, No. 3 singles senior Nick Andrick, to face-off against the Skyline tandem of Racey, and No. 2 singles player, senior
After Central took a 5-2 lead, the Falcons maintained a three-game spread until the Hawks narrowed it to 8-6 when Racey hit a winner from the baseline.
With Andrick serving, he hit a backhand winner at 40-15 to take make it 9-6 in Central's favor.
With Skyline serving, the Falcons pair went ahead 0-40, and Andrick sealed the deal with a groundstroke winner for the love win.
Andrick also won his singles match, 10-2, over Skyline freshman Joey Park.
Central No. 2 singles player Colbey Ryman also showed a liking for 10-2 scores, topping McConahy by that score in their singles match, and teamed with No. 4 Kyle Ford to
follow up with a 10-2 doubles triumph over Park and Rob Willard in the No. 2 doubles contest.
"My serve was a little off today than on Tuesday, but I do feel I was much more accurate with my shots and placed them better on the court," Ryman said. "My service was mostly long, so I just need to throw it a little higher and hit it at the top."
The longest bout of the afternoon was the 90-minute affair between two first-year players, at No. 5 singles, where Central sophomore Sam Barbour prevailed, 10-8, over Casey Stewart,
Stewart crept to within 9-8 when Barbour lost a deuce situation on a service double-fault after three deuces.
Barbour recovered by breaking Stewart's serve, at 30-40, with a forehand winner, to take the set.
"I was looking for that opportunity, Barbour said. "I had a couple of chances that didn't make it in, but I was pretty confident on that shot."
Additional singles winners for the Falcons were Kyle Ford, 10-5, over Rob Willard at No. 4, and Sam Snarr, with a 10-0 shutout of Travis Siever at No. 6.
At No. 3 doubles, Central's pair of Barbour and Snarr earned a 10-3 win over Stewart and Siever.
"Both of our newcomers [Barbour and Snarr] were impressive at five and six," Falcons coach Andrew Wetzel said. "Snarr won 10-love and Barbour fought really hard against a pretty good opponent. I was was really proud of them for sticking with it and being the new guys.
"It was an all-round win. We played well as a team and in doubles."
The Falcons travel to Warren County on Tuesday.