DuBOIS — The DuBois boys tennis team commemorated its graduating seniors Thursday evening, and though a thunderstorm would wash out two of the three doubles matches, the Beavers had plenty of time to leave their mark and celebrate in style.
Winning all four singles matches and snagging the sole doubles bout held during the day’s events, the Beavers made sure their seniors received a parting gift fit for their achievements, as DuBois blanked DuBois Central Catholic, 5-0.
The win was a welcome one for DuBois, as the team had dropped both of its previous two matches against Brockway and Punxsutawney earlier in the week.
More importantly, however, the win acted as a parting gift of sorts to DuBois graduating seniors, with all four starting seniors notching ‘W’s in their singles matches to lead the charge for the Beavers’ victory.
“Everybody played really well,” head coach Jenna Kirk said about her team’s performance. “We just played these guys last week, so they switched up their lineup a little bit. Ours was switched up (too), but everybody played really well.
“I’m glad everybody got a chance to play, and we got in before the rain came, which was actually pretty decent timing. It was a good match and good for our seniors.”
DuBois started the evening off well with a pair of decisive victories at No. 1 and 2 singles, where Joe Hnat topped Grant Norman, 8-0, at No. 1 and Nick Troisi bested Keri Hollenbaugh, 8-1, at No. 2.
Norman struggled throughout his bout with both his serve and return volleys, enabling Hnat to capitalize on his opponents errors to come away with the team’s first win.
At No. 2, Troisi controlled much of the match’s pace, scoring six uncontested points to go up 6-0 on his DCC adversary before wininng 8-1.
Elsewhere, Zach Jaggi put in a solid showing at No. 3 singles, besting Anne Latuska, 8-0, to get the win for the Beavers, while Ben Suslow and Zach George exchanged hits at No. 4 singles before Suslow won four straight games to take the set, 8-3.
Johnny Oberlin and Paul Brittain were then able to handily defeat the Cardinal tandem of Tristan Engle and Haley Pettenati at No. 3 doubles to get the final win of the day for the Beavers.
Though the thunderstorm prevented the two teams from finishing their matches at No. 1 and 2 doubles, the action before the downpour saw a much more competitive event than previously seen in the singles’ bouts.
Though Corey Giles and Noah Knarr started things off quickly in their No. 1 match with Norman and George, the Cardinals’ duo made sure that the bout would not be an easy affair.
The team battled back and earned three unanswered points to pull within one of DuBois’ 4-3 lead before the rain settled in.
Likewise, the bout at No. 2 doubles saw the DCC tandem of Hollenbaugh and Latuska put up more than a worthy battle against DuBois’ Hnat and Lucas Knarr.
After being down 1-0 to start the set, Hollenbaugh and Latuska rallied to go ahead 3-2 before taking two straight games to lead 5-2 before the match was called off.
“The two matches that were called early were both very competitive,” said DCC coach Andy Rice. “Keri and Anne have looked like a strong team at times and were playing very well today. It’s a shame the weather didn’t hold off another hour. I would have liked to see if we could have closed out those doubles matches and picked up a few wins.”
Though ultimately cut short, the day was still a major success for the DuBois roster and particularly for their senior nucleus. With nearly half the team departing for bigger things in the coming months, the gap left by their absence will certainly be felt, but as Kirk notes, it’s more important to appreciate their accomplishments now than to worry about the future.
“We’re losing five (seniors) this year,” Kirk said. “We’re going to miss them next year. That’s a big chunk of the team leaving. Joe’s been playing No. 1 since last year. Nick’s been a real steady singles player, Ben’s a really strong doubles player. Zach, we got him back. He didn’t play last year but came back this year, and he’s been doing extremely well, very consistent.
“It’s been great having these guys and it’s great they got the win.”
The Beavers return to action Tuesday against Punxsutawney, while DCC hopes to turn their fortunes around against Brockway next Thursday.