DuBOIS — The DuBois boys tennis team got all it could handle from Johnsonburg Thursday and found itself in a 2-2 contest after the first four matches were complete.
However, Beaver senior Noah Knarr played a part in two late victories that proved to be the difference as DuBois outlasted the Rams, 4-2, to improve to ??? on the season.
Knarr’s No. 2 singles match against Ram Nick Bliss helped create the late drama, as the pair battled on the court in a two-hour marathon match. That contest held up the final two doubles matchups as Bliss was playing at No. 1 for the Rams abd Knarr at No. 2 for the Beavers.
Before those hit the court, the two let all on the court in what proved to be pivotal contest in regards to the outcome.
Knarr won a tightly contested first set 7-5, only to see Bliss respond with a 6-2 win in set No. 2. The match then went to a third-set super-tiebreaker (first to 10 points, win by 2), and it was Knarr who won that tiebreaker, 10-7, to put the Beavers up 3-2 in the overall match.
“Bliss is such a great player and had so many crazy snags at the ball, which kept Noah constantly trying to find a groove,” said DuBois coach Dave Martin. “I’m proud of Noah for fighting through this one, but it definitely was a nail biter.”
Neither player took that long of a break, as each got right back to work in their respective doubles matches.
Knarr teamed up with fellow senior Lucas Knarr at No. 2, and duo wasted little time coming away with an 8-3 victory against Dan Dillinger and Kolton Mehalko to give DuBois the overall win.
Their “W” proved even more imporant when the No. 1 doubles contest between Beavers Jimmy Oberlin and Corey Giles and Rams Scott Lewis and Bliss was stopped with the match tied. With the outcome determined, that match was completed with darkness starting to set in.
The late heroics by the Knarrs were needed after the teams split the first four matches.
Johnsonburg actually won the first two completed, with its No. 3 doubles team of Jacob Newman and Christian Krug defeating Beaver varsity newcomers Donald Crabtree and Alex Graeca, 8-2.
Shortly thereafter, Mehalko finished off a 6-1, 6-2 win against Giles at No. 3 singles.
Oberlin got DuBois on the board when he finished off a 6-1, 6-1 victory against lewis at No. 1 singles. Lucas Knarr then bested Dan Dillinger, 6-3, 6-3 at fourth singles to even the overall match at 2-2 before he and Noah Knarr secured the win for their team.
“Johnsonburg played very well tonight,” said Martin. “It was nice to be able to play some of our newer players, and we were hoping to give some of the other lower seeds a chance to gain some experience.
“But, we had to change our plan. Even though it was all hands on deck there for awhile, we still were treated to some great tennis tonight.”
Both teams are back in action Tuesday. DuBois travels to Elk County Catholic, while Johnsonburg plays at DuBois Central Catholic.