Tennis Dragons defeat defending D9 champs

ST. MARYS – Playing a cross-district match with the Elk County Catholic Crusaders, the Dragons prevailed 5-4 to improve to 3-0 on the season.

“ECC is the defending District 9 champions and we are the defending District 10 champions,” said Warren Warren coach Jeff Bartsch. “This was a classic showdown of two good tennis programs.”

Top Dragon Nate Sandberg defeated Drew Meier 6-0, 6-1 to score Warren’s first point of the day.

“Today, we employed the five singles/four doubles format utilized by District 9,” said Warren assistant John Parroccini. “We like this format as it gives more of our kids an opportunity to play, and it gives us (coaches) a better look at our athletes in competition.”

Ben Auzou defeated Alan Brennen by 6-2, 6-2 scores in the No. 2 singles event. Dragon sophomore Noah Colvin, playing in the fifth singles postion, dropped a tough 4-6, 4-6 decision to a tall Cory Huff. Junior Steffen Blair fell to Austin Minard 4-6, 0-6 in fourth singles.

“ECC displayed some real depth, especially in the #4 and 5 singles positions,” said Parroccini.

With the singles events tied at 2-2, the third singles match saw junior Sean McGuinness drop the first set in a tiebreaker to Aaron Meier, but then rebound to take the second with a better 6-2 performance. In lieu of a third set (as per the format) the pair played a 10-point tiebreaker in which, “Sean was dominant with a strong 10-6 win to notch the Dragons’third singles win of the day,” said Bartsch.

Juniors Max Pierson and Eric Cecco were brilliant in their performance at fourth doubles as the pair defeated Anthony Pollick and Matt Bobby by an 8-4 score. The No. 2 pair of Tristan Boger and Bryce Bauer dropped a rough 3-8 decision to Alan Brennen and Aaron Meier. In the No. 3 doubles position, the Dragon pair of Dylan Hansen and Neil Morrison dropped a 3-8 match to Cory Huff & Ian Herzing.

“These pairs were new and there is more work to be done to prepare them for competition,” said Bartsch.

With the match score tied at 4-all, the match was determined by Warren’s top doubles duo of Sandberg and Auzou, winning 8-1 over Austin Minard and Drew Meier. The win gave the Dragons the fifth point and the team match.

“Our boys were challenged today,” said Bartsch. “ECC has an excellent team, probably the best team out of D9 we have seen in the past 20 years,” said Bartsch. “We were fortunate to seal this win today. Nate and Ben accounted for three wins, Max Pierson and Eric Cecco scored one, and the 5th win came from Sean McGuinness.”

In exhibition play, the pair of Clark Eason and Max Gross scored an 8-0 win. The Dragons are now 3-0 on the season and are scheduled to host the Oilers of Oil City at the Betts Courts, Thursday.