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'Polished' Beavers squad too much for Chucks

March 29, 2012

In this photo, taken Tuesday, Punxsy's Mike Blose takes a practice serve prior to his No. 1 singles match against DuBois Central Catholic. Thursday, Blose paired with Eddie Serafin at No. 2 doubles to earn one of Punxsy's two points in a 2-7 loss to the DuBois Beavers. (Photo by Zak Lantz of The Punxsutawney Spirit)

DUBOIS — Coming off a convincing win against DuBois Central Catholic Tuesday, the Punxsy boys' tennis team knew it'd have its hands full Thursday against the DuBois Beavers in DuBois, and the Beavers proved to be too much in a 7-2 victory over the Chucks.

"We knew DuBois would be a little more polished, because they were a little more experienced," Punxsy head coach Todd Heigley said after the match.

One thing stood out to Heigley as an area the team could have improved its chances: Being more aggressive on the offensive end.

"Tuesday, we were out to get them and playing our game, making our shots," he said. "Today, we seemed defensive and were blocking a lot of shots. We weren't hitting the forehand and backhand. We were just playing a little too tentatively."

Punxsy earned its first point in the singles department, where Tim Pearce defeated DuBois' Corrie Orson, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.

Pearce is now 2-0 this season in singles play after a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Jake Aravich Tuesday.

At No. 1 singles, Punxsy's Mike Blose fell to DuBois' top netter, Trey Gilmore, 2-6, 3-6.

"I told Michael not to worry too much about it," Heigley said. "It's early in the season, and he's really only working on five days of practice after a preseason injury slowed him down in preparation."

At No. 2 singles, Eddie Serafin lost his first match of the season, 3-6, 2-6, to another difficult DuBois foe in Colton Ames.

Nick Roberts fell at No. 4 singles, 3-6, 2-6, and Joe Roberts was on the losing end against DuBois' Luke Haskins, 1-6, 3-6.

Punxsy's other point came in doubles, at No. 2, where Blose and Serafin avenged their singles losses with an 8-5 victory over Mark Badtorff and Josh Knapp.

Nick Roberts and Ryan States fell to DuBois' tough No. 1 doubles duo of Gilmore and Johnston, and Joe Roberts and Justin Ray fell, 3-8, to Micah Shaffer and Jeff Meinert to wrap up the match.

The Beavers also earned a point at No. 4 doubles, where Punxsy was forced to forfeit.

Heigley said that overall, he wasn't too discouraged with his squad's performance, as it's still early in the year.

"We did make a lot of unforced errors and left a lot of shots," he said. "It might have been different, a bit closer, if we had been more agressive, but we have some work to do. You hate to come off a nice win like we had against DCC like that, but we just needed to be more aggressive. It's still early, though."

Another encouraging thing Heigley saw was that when his players were on the offensive, they were scoring.

"That's just the thing; it seemed like every time we were on the offensive, we were wracking up points," he said. "It's good to know that we can score points on our serves and on our forehands and backhands. Every time we did those things, it seemed like it worked out better in our favor. Now, we just need to gain the confidence to be more offensive. It's a long season, and we'll get back to the office and get the ship righted."

The Chucks will have a few days off to work on the areas in which they still need to improve before hosting St. Marys Wednesday. Heigley said that St. Marys was strong last season, sweeping AA District IX singles, doubles and team championships, but also added they lost several seniors to graduation, meaning there are a lot of question marks with their team.

"They had a ton of seniors last year and did really well district-wise," Heigley said. "They won it all in AA last year, but they lost a lot (of seniors), so they're kind of like us there. With a team like that, you just never know. We have tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday's practices to get our act together and start to be a little bit more offensive. I really think that's the key."

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