Chucks tennis finishes runner-up at team districts

DUBOIS โ€” With a different format at the District IX Team Championships, the Punxsy boys' tennis team came just one point short of a D-IX title, falling to the Beavers of DuBois 3-2.

With no players repeating, Punxsy's first point came at No. 2 singles, where Tim Pearce downed DuBois' Matt Fultz 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.

Then, at No. 1 singles, Punxsy's top pair for the day โ€” and a probable pairing heading into District IX doubles finals next week, Eddie Serafin and Nick Roberts โ€” earned a convincing 6-2, 6-3 win over Colton Ames and Aaron Lines.

Unfortunately, though, the Chucks failed to gain the elusive third point in the other three matches.

"We just struggled to put everything together," Punxsy head coach Todd Heigley said after the match. "One day one guy's playing well, and the next, another is. But we just couldn't put it all together to get over that hump. We've had a rough time lately against DuBois at districts, and before that it was Clearfield. We just keep missing out on that third win, and that's kind of a frustrating feeling."

Trey Gilmore earned DuBois' first point with a win at No. 1 singles over Michael Blose, 6-2, 6-3, and Patrick Johnson defeated Ryan States at No. 3 singles, 6-2, 6-0, to earn the Beavers' second singles point.

At No. 2 doubles, DuBois' pair of Luke Haskins and Josh Hnat defeated Joe Roberts and CJ Seitz 6-0, 6-2 to round out the scoring.

"It was just a matter of making those unforced errors at bad times," he said. "We picked some bad times to lose some points. Ryan was up a couple times in games and let them slip away, and the same thing happened with Michael. Joe and C.J. struggled out of the gates. I talked to them at the break, and they regrouped a bit. But it just wasn't enough today."

While the team's season came to an end, Punxsy's tennis still has two more chances at D-IX titles in the next week with singles championships scheduled for today and doubles to follow next Monday.

"It'd be nice to win as a team, but we'll regroup and hopefully have some success (today)," Heigley said. "Mike and Tim will get a shot at a singles title, and then next week, Eddy and Nick, who we saw some good things out of at doubles, will get their shot, too. Hopefully, some of that carries over for them."

Heigley said he really wanted the team title this year after coming so close in years past, but he also said he would be just as glad to see one of his singles players or doubles duos earn a title.

"We still have lots of tennis to play," he said. "If we get a singles or doubles champion, that'll be some icing on the cake. I wanted this team title, and I know some of the guys really wanted it too. But it just didn't happen."

Singles action begins today in DuBois at 9:30 with the quarterfinal round, and the semis and finals will follow.